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Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval dies; 3 left-hand from group

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval dies; 3 left-hand from group

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Samuel Sandoval, one of the last residual Navajo Code Talkers who transmitted messages inside World War II using a cipher based on their native language, has died.

Sandoval died late Friday at a medical organization inside Shiprock, New Mexico, his wife, Malula told The Associated Press on Saturday. He was 98.

Hundreds of Navajos were recruited from the vast Navajo Nation to labour for while Code Talkers accompanied by the U.S. Marine Corps. Only trio are still living today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Thomas H. Begay.

The Code Talkers took small part inside every one one assault the Marines conducted inside the Pacific, sending thousands of messages lacking mistake on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other communications critical to the war's eventual outcome. The code, based on the then-unwritten Navajo language, confounded Japanese military cryptologists accompanied by every one one other accompanied by is credited accompanied by helping the U.S. go nearer earliest inside the war.

Samuel Sandoval was on Okinawa when got word from another Navajo Code Talker that the Japanese had surrendered accompanied by every one one other accompanied by relayed the message to higher-ups. He had a near call on the island, which brought spine sore memories that he kept to himself, Malula Sandoval said.

The Navajo men are celebrated yearly on Aug. 14. Samuel Sandoval was looking forward to that day accompanied by every one one other accompanied by seeing a museum built near the Navajo Nation earliest city of Window Rock to integrity the Code Talkers, she said.

"Sam always said, 'I wanted my Navajo youngsters to learn, they need to know what we did accompanied by every one one other accompanied by how this cipher was used accompanied by every one one other accompanied by how it contributed to the world,'" she said Saturday. "That the Navajo language was strong accompanied by every one one other accompanied by always to convey on accompanied by carrying our legacy."

Sandoval was born inside Nageezi near Chaco Culture National Historical Park inside northwestern New Mexico. He enlisted inside the Marine Corps following attending a Methodist educational organization where he was discouraged from speaking Navajo. He helped enlist other Navajos from the educational organization to labour for while Code Talkers, expanding on words accompanied by every one one other accompanied by an ABC that an earliest category of 29 Navajos created.

Sandoval served inside five combat tours accompanied by every one one other accompanied by was honorably discharged inside 1946. The Code Talkers had orders not to talk over their roles — not all over the war accompanied by every one one other accompanied by not until their position of employment was declassified inside 1968.

The roles subsequent became an immense leap of pride for Sandoval accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his late brother, Merrill Sandoval, who excessively was a Code Talker. The place of set of two became talented speakers who always hailed their fellow Marines still inside deed while the heroes, not themselves, said Merrill Sandoval's daughter, Jeannie Sandoval.

"We were kids, all growing up accompanied by every one one other accompanied by we started to hear concerning the stories," she said. "We were so pleased of them, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by there weren't extremely numerous brothers together."

Sandoval was curious, always perusal the local newspapers, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by attending community, veterans, Code Talker accompanied by every one one other accompanied by legislative meetings. He enjoyed traveling accompanied by every one one other accompanied by sharing what he learned, grounded inside his Diné beliefs accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the Navajo way of life, said one of his daughters, Karen John.

"It was engrained early inside me, to exist small part of the community," she said. "He was really associated accompanied by inside a lot, some of which I couldn't comprehend while a kid."

Samuel Sandoval regularly told his story, chronicled inside a book accompanied by every one one other accompanied by documentary of the same name — "Naz Bah Ei Bijei: Heart of a Warrier" — at the Cortez Cultural Center inside Cortez, Colorado. He had a favorite folding chair there accompanied by vinyl padding accompanied by every one one other accompanied by took joe black, said administrative director Rebecca Levy.

Levy said Sandoval's talks drew dozens of people, some of whom had to exist turned away since of space limitations.

"It was a great chance for people who understood how important the Navajo Code Talkers were to the consequence of the war, inside our good turn ... to convey gratitude to him inside person," Levy said.

Sandoval's health had been declining inside recent years, including a permit let fall inside which he fractured a hip, Malula Sandoval said. His last trip was to New Orleans inside June where he received the American Spirit Award from the National World War II Museum, she said. MacDonald, Kinsel accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Begay excessively were honored.

Sandoval accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his spouse met while he was running a substance abuse counseling clinic, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by she was a secretary, she said. They were married 33 years. Sandoval raised 11 children from foregoing marriages accompanied by every one one other accompanied by inside blended families, John said.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said Sandoval will exist remembered while a loving accompanied by every one one other accompanied by courageous anthropoid actuality who defended his homeland using his sacred language.

"We are saddened by his passing, nevertheless his legacy will always exist on inside our hearts accompanied by every one one other accompanied by minds," Nez said inside a statement.

Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon said Sandoval's actuality was guided by character, courage, integrity accompanied by every one one other accompanied by integrity, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his impact will forever exist remembered.

"May he relax among our most resilient warriors," Damon said inside a statement.

Funeral services are pending.

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval dies; 3 left-hand from group

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