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Last of the WWII Navajo Code Talkers Dies

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Flags will be lowered across the Navajo Nation in honor of a tribal member who helped developed a World War II code based on the Navajo language. Chester Nez died Wednesday of kidney failure in Albuquerque. The 93-year-old was the last of the original group of 29 Navajo Code Talkers. Navajo President Ben Shelly ordered flags flown at half-staff from Thursday to sunset on Sunday. A public viewing for Nez is scheduled Monday evening in Albuquerque. A Mass is scheduled at Our Lady of Fatima in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning. Nez will be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Nez enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, becoming part of the first all-Native American unit of Marines. He and 28 others developed a code that confounded the Japanese.

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