On Monday, January 23, the last remaining Navajo Code Talker, Chester Nez celebrated his 91 birthday and in his honor, Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Richard Berry declared the day Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez Day.
Nez, who shared his stories in Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII, was born in a time when your age was based on the seasons, making pinpointing his actual age tough. But in his book, Nez shares his birthdate as January 23, 1921.
The Code Talkers began in World War I, but made their name during World War II when the Navajo Code Talkers were established as a unit, that helped turn the tides of the war in the United States’ favor. Nez was one of the original 29 Navajo soldiers to make up the Navajo Code Talkers.