World War II has been over for more than 65 years, and the outcome of that war has largely been credited to the work of the original 29 Navajo code talkers. Today, the last survivor, Chester Nez walked on according to family members speaking to KOAT.com. He was 93.
For more than a decade the Navajo veteran had been devoted to educating people about the work that the code talkers did. Even into his 90s, Nez, who signed his name Cpl. Chester Nez, could be seen wearing his code talker uniform at public appearances while sharing the proud history with youth at colleges and schools across the country.
His devotion to sharing the story of how 29 men developed a code in their Native language that stymied Japanese forces ultimately helping the U.S. military win the war in the Pacific was unmatched.
The code talkers mission was so secretive they could not talk about it until 23 years after the war ended, and 55 years later the men were honored properly for their services.
The Navajo citizen was recruited for the code talker program after enlisting in the Marines shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941 according to an ICTMN story from 2011.
The 29 men spent several months developing the code before being dispatched to the South Pacific. Nez was always “proud to serve as a Marine, and proud that his language – which he had been forbidden to speak while in boarding school – helped win the war in the Pacific,” the ICTMN story stated.
In 2011 Nez released Code Talker, the only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers.
More to follow.