Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Last Of The Navajo 'Code Talkers' Dies At 93 : The Two-Way : NPR

Last Of The Navajo 'Code Talkers' Dies At 93 : The Two-Way : NPR: The last of the Navajo "Code Talkers" who used their native language as the basis of a cipher that confounded the Japanese military during World War II has died at age 93.

Chester Nez, of Albuquerque, N.M., died Wednesday of kidney failure, member station KPCC reports. He was the last of the 29 U.S. Marine Code Talkers who were the subject of the 2002 film Windtalkers, starring Nicolas Cage.

According to, Nez was in the 10th grade when he was recruited in the spring of 1942 by representatives of the the U.S. Marines, who came to his Arizona boarding school looking for Navajo speakers. says:

"The military, ferrying troops to battle sites across the Pacific, was urgently seeking an undecipherable code to transmit classified information. It had attempted to use various languages and dialects as code, but each was quickly cracked by cryptographers in Tokyo."