Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/5/2014 (4 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 (4 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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 22:20-26
20 'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2014 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in ... 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