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Last of original group of Navajo Code Talkers dies

Chester Nez, dies at 93

Jun 5 2014, 4:03pm CDT | by

11 Updates
Last of original group of Navajo Code Talkers dies
Chester Nez
 
 

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Last of original group of Navajo Code Talkers dies

The final member of the original Navajo code talkers, the group of 28 Native Americans who played a crucial role for U.S. communications during World War II, has died.

Chester Nez died Wednesday in Albuquerque, confirmed Judy Avila, who helped Nez write his memoirs. He was 93.

Nez was one of the first code talkers recruited for the job in 1942, while the US was seeing its codes broken over and over again by Japanese code breakers. According to AZCentral, he was in tenth grade when he was recruited by US Marines, who came to his boarding school in Arizona looking for native Navajo speakers.

The 2002 John Woo film "Windtalkers" brought the story of the code breakers to the big screen.
 
"The passing of Chester Nez, one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, sadly marks the end of an era in our country's and Marine Corps' history," Col. David Lapan, director of the Office of U.S. Marine Corps Communication, said in a statement. "We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo Code Talkers."

In his memoirs, Nez said he knew he made the right decision to join the fight.

“I reminded myself that my Navajo people had always been warriors, protectors," he said. "In that there was honor. I would concentrate on being a warrior, on protecting my homeland. Within hours, whether in harmony or not, I knew I would join my fellow Marines in the fight."

"It's one of the greatest parts of history that we used our own native language during World War II," Nez told The Associated Press in 2009. "We're very proud of it."

Of the 250 Navajos who showed up at Fort Defiance - then a U.S. Army base - 29 were selected to join the first all-Native American unit of Marines. They were inducted in May 1942. Nez became part of the 382nd Platoon.

Using Navajo words for red soil, war chief, clan, braided hair, beads, ant and hummingbird, for example, they came up with a glossary of more than 200 terms that later was expanded and an alphabet.

Nez has said he was concerned the code wouldn't work. At the time, few non-Navajos spoke the language. Even Navajos who did couldn't understand the code. It proved impenetrable.

Nez said he had jumped at the chance to enlist when Marine recruiters came to the reservation boarding school where he was enrolled.

"I told my buddy [Roy Begay], 'Let's get the heck out of here, climb that mountain up there and see what's on the other side,'" Nez said.

 

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Update: 11

Last original Code Talker laid to rest in Santa Fe National Cemetery

Source: Stars and Stripes

Chester Nez hailed from Western New Mexico, went to World War II in the Pacific and spent his remaining days in Albuquerque. Now the final resting spot for the last of the original Navajo Code Talkers is the Santa Fe National Cemetery, alongside tens ...
Source: Stars and Stripes   Full article at: Stars and Stripes Jun 11 2014, 6:47am CDT
 


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Update: 10

Flags lowered to honor Navajo Code Talker Sidney Bedoni

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

Window Rock, Ariz. • Flags are flying at half-staff on the Navajo Nation in honor of another Code Talker. Sidney Bedoni died Sunday. He was 87. Bedoni enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 15, using a code based on the Navajo language that stumped the Japanese during World War II. Funeral services are scheduled next week in Winslow, with burial June 17 at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. Bedoni is the second Code Talker to die in the p ...
Source: Salt Lake Tribune   Full article at: Salt Lake Tribune Jun 10 2014, 12:40pm CDT
 

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Update: 9

Co-author of Code Talker book remembers Chester Nez

Source: Albequerque Express

There's Chester Nez the Code Talker and Chester Nez the man. Judith Avila got to know both. Avila admits she knew little about World War II, or the Code Talk ...
Source: Albequerque Express   Full article at: Albequerque Express Jun 10 2014, 11:53am CDT
 

Update: 7

Public invited to say goodbye to last original Navajo Code Talker

Source: Albequerque Express

The public is invited on Monday to say goodbye to the last of the original Navajo Code Talkers. Chester Nez passed away on Wednesday of kidney failure in Albuquerque. The 93-year-old was part ...
Source: Albequerque Express   Full article at: Albequerque Express Jun 9 2014, 11:43am CDT
 

Update: 6

Here’s what Sen. Udall said about Chester Nez on the Senate floor Friday

Source: Albequerque Express

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall paid tribute in a speech on the Senate floor to the life and service of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 ...
Source: Albequerque Express   Full article at: Albequerque Express Jun 7 2014, 2:45am CDT
 

Update: 5

MSNBC news quiz - Navajo Code Talker

Source: MSNBC

Chester Nez, the last surviving original Navajo Code Talker, died this week. He helped create a special code indecipherable by:R ...
Source: MSNBC   Full article at: MSNBC Jun 5 2014, 5:42pm CDT
 

Update: 4

Last of original group of Navajo Code Talkers dies

Source: I4U News

The final member of the original Navajo code talkers, the group of 28 Native Americans who played a crucial role for U.S. communications during World War II, has died.Chester Nez died Wednesday in ...
Source: I4U News  Full article at: I4U News Jun 5 2014, 4:03pm CDT
 

Update: 3

The Last Of The Original Navajo Code Talkers Has Died — Here's Their Brilliant Innovation That Helped Us Win WWII

Source: Business Insider

The last of the original Navajo code talkers, Chester Nez, died at 93 on June 4. The code talkers used a code based on the Navajo language as a way of quickly and accurately transmitting information in World War II and afterwards.  According to the Navy's historical summary of the code talkers, the advantage of the Navajo code was that the Navajo language is extremely complex, and is very difficult for non-speakers to learn or understand. Nez and 28 of his fellow Navaj ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider Jun 5 2014, 2:35pm CDT
 

Update: 2

Thank You, Chester Nez

Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

Chester Nez, the last of the Navajo Code Talkers passed away on Wednesday, June 4, in Albuquerque, NM. Thank you, Chester Nez. Thank you, Navajo Code Talkers. Thank you for your service to your country. Even though your country treated you like second-class citizens, even though your country attempted to eradicate your language you persevered. You repaid enmity with kindness. You repaid segregation with loyalty. ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post Jun 5 2014, 12:37pm CDT
 

Update: 1

Chester Nez, Last Of The Navajo Codetalkers, Dies At 93

Source: Outside the Beltway

Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo Codetalkers, a group of Native Americans who provided a vital communications tool to the American military during World War Two, and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor has died at the age of 93 The final member of the original Navajo code talkers, the group of 28 Native Americans who played a crucial role for U.S. communications during Worl ...
Source: Outside the Beltway   Full article at: Outside the Beltway Jun 5 2014, 5:39am CDT
 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/37" rel="author">Jason Brumett</a>
Jason Brumett brings you the latest news across all interest topics for the geek mind.

 

 

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