Top of page

Bill Toledo in uniform, taken from his 2003 interview

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Service Unit/Ship: 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division
  • Location of Service:
  • Highest Rank: Private First Class
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/54889

View full service history

"But the bunch I was with, we worked together - we were always working together, helping each other." (Video interview, 55:21)

Bill H. Toledo hailed from Torreon, New Mexico, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 1942 together with his uncle Frank Toledo and cousin Preston Toledo, all three of whom would become Code Talkers. After training as a Code Talker, Bill Toledo was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, with whom he first saw combat on November 1, 1943 in the invasion of Bougainville. Toledo and his comrades endured bitter fighting there, but he and the other Code Talkers with 9th Marines were able to demonstrate the value of the Navajo Code on Bougainville, as their commanders came to rely on them to deliver encrypted messages quickly after the older shackle code method proved to be slow and unreliable. Toledo survived another difficult landing on Guam, before also taking part in the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945, from where he remembers horrific combat, but also getting to see his uncle Frank Toledo. Throughout his time in the Marines, Toledo remembers that he got along well with the Marines he worked with closely, but did encounter bigotry from Marines outside his section. Toledo struggled with post-traumatic stress symptoms for many years, until his family arranged to host an Enemy Way healing ceremony for him in 1970, a ceremony that lasted for three days. Afterwards, Toledo reported that he no longer had nightmares or experienced post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Bill Henry Toledo Collection

Names

  • Chalmers Ford, Don
  • Toledo, Bill Henry
  • Fleming, Carol Ellison
  • Navajo Code Talker's Project
  • Salomon, Warren C.

Home State

  • New Mexico

Headings

  • -  Toledo, Bill Henry
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.

Form

  • DVD

Extent

  • 1 item

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Service Unit/Ship: 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division
    • Location of Service:
    • Highest Rank: Private First Class
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran
    • Service History Note: The veteran was a Navajo Code Talker.

Materials

  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2003-09-24; 2004-05-01)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/54889

Cite as

  • Bill Henry Toledo Collection (AFC/2001/001/54889), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Chalmers Ford, Don, Bill Henry Toledo, Carol Ellison Fleming, Navajo Code Talker'S Project, and Warren C Salomon. Bill Henry Toledo Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54889/.

APA citation style:

Chalmers Ford, D., Toledo, B. H., Fleming, C. E., Navajo Code Talker'S Project & Salomon, W. C. (1942) Bill Henry Toledo Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54889/.

MLA citation style:

Chalmers Ford, Don, et al. Bill Henry Toledo Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.54889/>.