One of the last Navajo Code Talkers dies

| August 1, 2022 | 7 Comments

 

Samuel Sandoval, one of the last four Navajo Code Talkers, died Friday at the age of 98 in Shiprock, NM.

Hundreds of Navajos were recruited from the vast Navajo Nation to serve as Code Talkers with the U.S. Marine Corps. Only three are still alive today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay.

The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific, sending thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war’s ultimate outcome. The code, based on the then-unwritten Navajo language, confounded Japanese military cryptologists and is credited with helping the U.S. win the war.

Samuel Sandoval was on Okinawa when got word from another Navajo Code Talker that the Japanese had surrendered and relayed the message to higher-ups. He had a close call on the island, which brought back painful memories that he kept to himself, Malula Sandoval said.

Sandoval was born in Nageezi near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after attending a Methodist school where he was discouraged from speaking Navajo. He helped recruit other Navajos from the school to serve as Code Talkers, expanding on words and an alphabet that an original group of 29 Navajos created.

Sandoval served in five combat tours and was honorably discharged in 1946. The Code Talkers had orders not to discuss their roles — not during the war and not until their mission was declassified in 1968.

Samuel Sandoval often told his story, chronicled in a book and documentary of the same name — “Naz Bah Ei Bijei: Heart of a Warrier” — at the Cortez Cultural Center in Cortez, Colorado. He had a favorite folding chair there with vinyl padding and took coffee black, said executive director Rebecca Levy.

Levy said Sandoval’s talks drew dozens of people, some of whom had to be turned away because of space limitations.

Military Times

Only three Code Talkers remain alive today:  Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay. The Greatest Generation is indeed crossing over.

 

 

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Deckie

🫡

A Proud Infidel®™️

*Slow Salute*

Enjoy Valhalla, you’ve earned your place there and in History.

KoB

God Speed and Fare Well, Good Sir. Semper Fi.

Old tanker

RIP Sir and thank you for helping to keep our freedom.

CDR D

RIP. Hand salute!

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace Elder Warrior.

USAFRetired

RIP Sir.

One of my hobbies is collecting coins.

In 2009 following the Presidential Dollars minted by the US Mint, The mint resumed minting dollar coins with the Sacagawea Obverse (heads). The series was renamed the Native American set and the Reverse (tails) were to highlight “important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans…” Only those coins minted in 2009 thru 2011 were made for circulation the subsequent years were for numistmatic sales only.

In 2016 they honored the Code Talkers. Both WWI and WWII.

Starting in 2008 or there abouts the Mint began selling Bronze Medals honoring the Code Talkers.

To date 18 Medals honoring 18 Tribes. Code Talkers Recognition Act has enabled the Secretary of the Treasury to Strike Congressional Medals in gold honoring each Native American tribe that had a member who served as a code talker.

The Navajo were only one such tribe.