William Tully Brown, one of the last Navajo Code Talkers, dies at 96

William Tully Brown, one of a handful of remaining Navajo Code Talkers from World War II, died Monday at age 96.

The Navajo Nation and U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Brown’s death. He’s the third Code Talker to die in the past month; only five of the group remain, CNN reported Wednesday.

“On behalf of the Navajo people, we offer our thoughts and prayers for the family, loved ones, and community members who had the honor of knowing and sharing the life of Code Talker Brown. The Navajo Nation has lost another great Diné warrior,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement.{mosads}

Brown was one of 400 Navajo Code Talkers who used their native language to develop a secret and undecipherable code to help the United States defeat the Japanese during World War II. The messages were a key factor in securing U.S. military victories at Iwo Jima and several other battles in the Pacific theater.

Brown was born on Oct. 30, 1922 in Black Mountain, Ariz., and enlisted with the Marine Corps in 1944, Navajo Nation wrote in the news release. He served until he was honorably discharged in 1946.

Brown received multiple awards for his service, including the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Honorable Service Label Button, the Navajo Nation said.

“We will always honor and remember the sacrifices he made at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima in the protection of freedom and liberty,” Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon said in a statement. “Mr. Brown’s contributions to the Tselani/Cottonwood community and the Navajo Nation will always be cherished.”

Tags Navajo code talkers U.S. Marine Corps William Tully Brown

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