A woman whose roots are in South Dakota took over 20 years to research the vital contributions and advocate for the recognition of some World War II heroes.

Andrea Page who hails from Rochester, New York traces her lineage back to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and recounts how she was introduced to the exploits of her code-talking great-uncle.

“We were sitting at my Mom and Dad’s kitchen table opening the mail and received a newspaper article from a cousin who lives out here in South Dakota. The article was about Lakota code talkers of World War II. She recognized her uncle, John Bear King in the photo right away.”

From there, it became a mission of Page to tell the World War II story of the Sioux. One tribal archivist told Page of an extremely dangerous mission with the 302nd Reconnaissance unit that helped rescue prisoners of war that were stationed in the Philippines.

“From what I found out, there were a few behind enemy lines trying to find soldiers, check their condition to see if they were starving or in good health. They would send that message back over the radio waves using one of the dialects. Whoever was at headquarters would translate the message to the Generals who would then send a message back telling them what to do.”

Navajo code talkers are the ones most recognized for their accomplishments, but Page is extremely proud to be so closely tied to the Sioux code talkers who also made their mark.

Page assembled all her research and published a book entitled “Sioux Code Talkers of World War II” which is now in its second printing.

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