Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of WW II, passed away

Chester Nez (93), the last one of the original Navajo code talkers credited for developing an unbreakable code during World War II, passed away. The Marine Corps mourns his death as the end of an era- for both the nation and its armed forces.

Nez was the last remaining of the original 29 Navajos recruited by the Marine Corps to develop the legendary code that was used for vital communications during battle. They created a code, including developing a dictionary.

Navajo was chosen as a code language because its syntax and tonal qualities were almost impossible for a non-Navajo to learn, and it had no written form.

The Navajo code flummoxed the Japanese, who had successfully decrypted codes used by the U.S. Army. After the war, the Japanese chief of intelligence, Lt. General Seizo Arisue, admitted they were never able to decipher the Navajo code used by the Marines.

A film was also made in 2002 named “Windtalkers,” starring Adam Beach and Nicolas Cage, followed the fictional account of two Marines assigned to protect two code talkers during the battle of Saipan.



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