Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/5/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chester Nez passes away at 93

The very last of a unique breed of American hero passed away, marking the end of an era for both the United States and the U.S. Marine Corps.

PFC Chester Nez (middle) on Saipan in June, 1944.

PFC Chester Nez (middle) on Saipan in June, 1944.

Highlights

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/5/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: News, US, WWII


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chester Nez, the last Navajo code talker, passed away at the age of 93 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 4, and was mourned by the Marine Corps in a statement that day.

Join Pope Francis in his war against world hunger.

"The passing of Chester Nez . . . sadly marks the end of an era in our country's and Marine Corps' history. We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo Code Talkers," said the statement.

Nez was 21 when he was recruited in 1942, and was one of the original 29 Navajo Marines who developed a secret communication code based on the Navajo language. The Code was one of the few that the Japanese were unable to break, and remained in service with the Marines through the Korean war and the beginning of Vietnam.

Nez fought at Guadalcanal, Guam and Peleliu before he was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1945, and rejoined the Marines for two years during the Korean war.

Philip Johnston, a WWI veteran who was fluent in the language, first proposed the use of the Navajo language to the Marines during the beginning of WWII. Prior to WWII, it was estimated that only 30 non-Navajos could understand the language, which is not mutually intelligible with its closest language relatives and at the time was unwritten. Johnston saw that the language fulfilled the military's desire for an undecipherable code as the language was only spoken in the American Southwest, and its syntax, tonal qualities and dialects made it unintelligible to anyone without extensive training and exposure.

The code talkers were commended for the skill, speed and accuracy throughout the war. After the battle of Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, a 5th Marine Division signal officer, stated that "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." Connor commanded six of the code talkers, and had them working round the clock during the battle's first two days.

Nez published a book about his experiences called "Code Talker" in 2011. "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 while promoting his book, "I think that made our job easier, and I think it helped us to be successful in the heat of battle."

In his book, Nez talked about his combat experiences.

"When bombs dropped, generally we code talkers couldn't just curl up in a shelter. We were almost always needed to transmit information, to ask for supplies and ammunition, and to communicate strategies. And after each transmission, to avoid Japanese fire, we had to move."

Though the code talkers made significant contributions to the war effort, they were unable to receive any recognition until the operation was declassified in 1968. President Ronald Reagan was the first to recognize their service, giving them a Certificate of Recognition in 1982.

On December 21, 2000, the original 29 code talkers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and Silver Medals were awarded to each person who qualified as a Navajo code talker; four of the last five surviving code talkers were presented with the medals by President George W. Bush in 2001 at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda. Gold medals were also presented to the families of the other 24 code talkers who where no longer alive.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


The Gender Identity Executive Order of President Obama is a Trojan Horse

Image of Most of us are familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse used by Greek soldiers to take the City of Troy. After a multi-year, unsuccessful effort to take the City, the Greeks pretended to retreat. However, Greek soldiers had left behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans found what they thought were spoils of battle, a large wooden horse. They decided to pull it into the City as a trophy of their victory. Hidden inside were an elite group of soldiers. As soon as the crowds gathered to celebrate the victory, they came out of the horse and destroyed the City from the inside.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

To equate how one engages in sexual activities with a member of the same sex - or whether one has sexual attraction to a member of the same sex - with a properly protected status such as race, creed, gender or national origin, in the enforcement of federal ... continue reading


America's best hope for 2016 is an old face: Republican's need Romney to run Watch

Image of While Mitt Romney has not said he will run for president in 2016, those close to him suggest that he will, and he is confident that he can win.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Republican party is doing a great deal of soul searching ahead of the 2016 presidential election season. It's will be tough finding a candidate that appeals to the small but vocal Tea Party, the aging and reactionary ultraconservatives and the large and ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter