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Funeral service for Navajo Code Talker scheduled in eastern Arizona

In this 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Navajo Code Talkers including Fleming Begaye Sr., seated left, Thomas Begay, second from left, and Peter MacDonald, second from right, in the Oval Office of the White House. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

CHINLE, Ariz. – The funeral service for a Navajo Code Talker will be held this week in Chinle.

Fleming Begaye Sr. died May 10. He was 97.

Begaye was among hundreds of Navajos who served in the Marine Corps, using a code based on their native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II.

His funeral was scheduled Friday morning at the Potter’s House Christian Center in Chinle.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez has ordered flags flown at half-staff across the reservation that day.

Begaye served as a Code Talker from 1943 to 1945, fighting in the battles of Tarawa and Tinian. He spent a year in a naval hospital after being wounded.

Begaye later ran a general store in Chinle called “Begaye’s Corner.”

He and his late wife had three children.

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