FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The last of the 29 Navajos who developed an unbreakable
code that helped win World War II has died.
Chester Nez, of Albuquerque, N.M., died Wednesday morning of kidney
failure. He was 93.
Nez was in the 10th grade when a Marine recruiter went to the Navajo
reservation looking for young men who were fluent in Navajo and English. Nez
told The Associated Press in a 2010 interview that he kept the decision to
enlist a secret from his family and lied about his age.
Nez became part of the 382nd Platoon tasked with developing a code that stumped
the Japanese. Hundreds of Navajos followed in the footsteps of the original Code