Oklahoma Indians who befuddled the Germans during two world wars by using their native language in military radio and telephone transmissions were honored Friday by the French government.

Chief Hollis Roberts of the of the Choctaw Nation and Kenneth Saupitty, chairman of the Comanche Nation, received the Knight of the National Order of Merit medals on behalf of the Indian "codetalkers."Each also received, much to the merriment of the mostly Indian audience, the traditional kiss on each cheek from Pierre Messmer, former prime minister of France under President Charles De Gaulle.

Roberts said the recognition accorded the Indians was "long, long overdue."

"This is something that you won't read in the history books, but history was made today," he said.

Saupitty said the American Indian tribes had known about the contributions made by the codetalkers in both World War I and World War II "and now the world should recognize it."

Choctaw codetalkers were used in France during World War I. Eighteen Comanches from the Fort Sill area were recruited during World War II and 14 of them went to Europe. They used their native language to confuse the enemy during the 1944 Normandy invasion and in subsequent Allied campaigns in northern France and Luxembourg.