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American history dies with Marine Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker

American history dies with Marine Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker
American history dies with Marine Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker
Family released photo

This week, living history died along with former Marine, Chester Nez, the last of the Navajo Code Talkers. He was 93.

Nez was born into the Black Sheep Clan in Chi Chil Tah, N.M., close to modern-day Gallup, and was just a teen when he was recruited into the Marines from a Navajo boarding school in 1942. Not long after, he was assigned with other Code Talkers to the 382nd Platoon at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

His unit soon deployed to Guadalcanal, now Solomon Islands, with the Original 29, where together they perfected the unbreakable secret code that is said to have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. troops during the war.

Chester Nez died of kidney failure at his home, June 4, in Albuquerque, N.M., not far from his birthplace.

NBC video here.

Examiner's Note: Most First Nation children are no longer taught their native language in large part because their parents were never schooled in the language themselves. Most Native Americans were actually forbidden to speak their own language.

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