Some sad news to report: Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo Code Talkers, died yesterday at his home in New Mexico. According to reports, Nez, 93, died of kidney failure.
The Navajo Code Talkers used the Navajo language to stump the Japanese and deliver hundreds of encrypted messages during World War II. Their efforts helped secure Allied victory in the Pacific theater. The Navajo Code Talkers’ mission remained classified until 1968. In 1982, then-President Ronald Reagan declared August 14 National Navajo Code Talkers Day. You can read more about the Code Talkers in a story that appeared in the February 1989 issue of Arizona Highways.
Our thoughts are with Nez’s family.