Last surviving Mohawk code talker from WWII, Louis Levi Oakes, dies at 94

| May 31, 2019

last code talker
Louis Levi Oakes was one of just 17 Akwesasne Mohawks recognized by the U.S. Congress as code talkers during the Second World War.Blair Crawford/Postmedia/File

Born in the Quebec part of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, Oakes registered in the U.S. army at age 18, and served in New Guinea and the Philippines

One of our ninjas brings us the sad news that Louis Levi Oakes passed on at 94 years. He was the last surviving Mohawk code talker, one of the men who transmitted messages in their Indigenous languages during the Second World War to baffle enemy code-breakers.

Maura Forrest

Born in the Quebec part of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve on Jan. 23, 1925, Louis Levi Oakes registered in the U.S. army at age 18, and served as a code talker in New Guinea and the Philippines until the end of the war. But he kept his work secret for decades afterward, even from his family, only speaking openly about it in recent years after he and other code talkers began to receive national recognition on both sides of the border for their service.

Oakes received a Congressional Silver Medal in 2016. He was recognized at the Assembly of First Nations and in the House of Commons last year, and had a private meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I feel great, happy,” he told community TV station Akwesasne TV in April 2018, speaking about the recent acknowledgment of his contribution. “I was very proud of it.”

Oakes passed away in Snye, Que. on Tuesday of natural causes. He was 94 years old.

The entire article may be viewed here: The National Post

Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Oakes.

Category: Army News, The Warrior Code, We Remember

Comments (8)

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  1. Mason says:

    Godspeed, Mr. Oakes.

  2. RGR 4-78 says:

    Rest in Peace.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Rest In Peace Sir, you’ve earned your place in History and Valhalla.

  4. 5th/77th FA says:

    Godspeed and Fare Well Louis Levi Oakes. The Nation waited too long to properly recognize and pay Honor to your valuable service.

    Rest in peace…You earned it.

  5. 26Limabeans says:

    I had no idea there were Mohawk code talkers.
    Thought they were all Navajo. Rest in peace sir.

    Probably could have used a group of French Canadian fishermen as well. Their native language is a combination of French, English and American profanity, especially on the radios.

    • Fatman says:

      Many Native tribes had languages that were never written down. Navajo are more well known because of the movie. I know Alaska Natives, at least the Tlingit tribe, performed the duties of code talkers as well.

  6. Inbred Redneck says:

    My thanks, Mr. Oakes.