Author Topic: Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II, dies  (Read 355 times)

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Offline EC

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(CNN) -- Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo code talkers credited with creating an unbreakable code used during World War II, died Wednesday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation President said. He was 93.

Nez was one of the 29 Navajos recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps to develop the code that would be used by hundreds of code talkers during the war.

"The Navajo Nation flags will all be lowered to half-mast in honor of our hero passing away," President Ben Shelly said.

Nez was a teenager when he was recruited to develop the code. He was assigned with the other code talkers to the Marine Corps' 382nd Platoon.

Military authorities chose Navajo as a code language because it was almost impossible for a non-Navajo to learn and had no written form.

The code talkers were forbidden from telling anyone about it -- not their fellow Marines, not their families -- until it was declassified in 1968. The original 29 were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

"In developing our code, we were careful to use everyday Navajo words, so that we could memorize and retain the words easily," Nez told CNN in 2011 while promoting his book "Code Talker."

"I think that made our job easier, and I think it helped us to be successful in the heat of battle."

Still, Nez said he worried every day that an error might cost the life of an American military service member.

Nez fought in Guadalcanal, Guam and Peleliu, where the code talkers worked in teams of two with one relaying and receiving messages while the other cranked the portable radio and listened for errors in transmission.

Read more at: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/04/us/navajo-code-talker-obit/index.html



End of an era.
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Offline Oceander

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Quote
"The Navajo Nation flags will all be lowered to half-mast in honor of our hero passing away," President Ben Shelly said.

All American flags should be at half-mast in honor of this gent.

Offline EC

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Agreed.

Their influence spread far beyond WW2, a boon and a blessing in this age of intercepted chatter. Codes specific to single units or ships, impenetrable to outsiders, including allies, because it is based on shared experience and mutates constantly. The Wind Talkers were the first and arguably the best in a long line of people devoted to keeping asses out of slings and blood inside skin. Kind of important, that.
The fastest way to a man's heart? Inch to the right of the breastbone, between the fourth and fifth rib.

Every time I start to feel boring, I remember there is a monthly magazine devoted to elevators.

Avatar courtesy of Oceander

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink

Online rangerrebew

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All American flags should be at half-mast in honor of this gent.

Obama ordered them lowered for a drug infested singer by the name of Whitney Houston but I doubt he will order the same here simply because he was a member of the military.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

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Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. Abraham Lincoln

Offline Oceander

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Obama ordered them lowered for a drug infested singer by the name of Whitney Houston but I doubt he will order the same here simply because he was a member of the military.

I hate to have to agree with you, but I agree with you.

Online rangerrebew

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I hate to have to agree with you, but I agree with you.

Aw, I'm not so bad. :laugh:
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. Abraham Lincoln


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