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Spotlight – Jack Langan, Code Listener (UBC Day 6)

Meeting Jack, Sioux Code Talker Research Begins

The first newspaper article about the Lakota Code Talkers was published in 1994. I started reaching out to everyone and anyone I could think of to find out more. I finally made contact with a man named Jack Langan who actually witnessed the Lakota Code Talkers in action. Once I found him, I had a path to follow. He told me what he knew about the 302nd Reconnaissance Troop.

Research was a challenge in the beginning. Access to the internet was new, so I tried other ways to get information. In 1996, I placed an ad in the First Cavalry Alumni Association’s newsletter asking for information. Shortly after, a letter arrived from a man named Jack Langan who provided specific details about how the Sioux Code Talkers formed. He provided his contact information and when I called him. he explained he heard and understood the Lakota messages being used at headquarters. top-secret messages were sent from headquarters to the field. And Jack heard and understood them!

After consistent communication and learning about his Lakota family, my mom and I flew out to Wyoming to meet him in person.

Jack told me stories, gave me maps and more importantly, a copy of a book page that identified the code talkers by name. The book’s page described their service in the First Cavalry Division. However, I hit a wall.  An obstacle of research – Jack couldn’t remember the title of the book that verified the seven names of the code talkers from the 302nd.

Eventually I did find the book’s title, HISTORY OF THE FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION. As soon as I could, I phoned the author, Si Dunn, to gather more information. I had another path to follow. That’s what researching is all about. Follow the trails.

It took another 20+ years before my book SIOUX CODE TALKERS OF WORLD WAR II was published, but I know I wouldn’t been able to become an author without the help of Jack. 

Keep writing!


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2 thoughts on “Spotlight – Jack Langan, Code Listener (UBC Day 6)”

  1. That is amazing! When we don’t get the answers we seek when we want them, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I love learning about some things in history. My family history alone is a challenge, but I’m still looking. I need to verify some of the information passed to me. This motivates me to keep going.

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