Author Topic: Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II, dies  (Read 410 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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Online 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.
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Offline 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.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

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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.

Offline 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:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin


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