“Our nation is forever indebted to these WWII heroes,” said Sen. John McCain in a Tweet on Monday.
David Patterson, one of the last living U.S. Marines Navajo code talkers from World War II who used the Navajo language to transmit secret tactical messages to outwit the Japanese passed away from pneumonia, and complications from a fall in Rio Rancho NM: He was 94 years young.
In 1945 during the invasion of Iwo Jima, the code talkers’ work was invaluable in the success and outcome of that battle as they transmitted more than 800 messages, without a single error.
The Arizona Republic reported in 2016 that about a dozen Navajo WWII code talkers were still living.
From the archives:
A skeptical lieutenant decided to test their skills and the code before trusting them to deliver actual combat messages.
The Code Talkers successfully translated, transmitted and re-translated a test message in two and a half minutes. Without using the Navajo code, it could take hours for a soldier to complete the same task.
From then on, the Code Talkers were used in every major operation involving the Marines in the Pacific theater. Their primary job was to transmit tactical information over telephone and radio.
The Arizona Republic reported that in 2016, only a dozen Navajo WWII code talkers were still living.
Godspeed brave warrior…. We are forever indebted to your brave service to this country.