Last original code talker laid to rest

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers is being laid to rest Tuesday.

Chester Nez – who was 93 – helped play a major role in the code that was used by the marines in the Pacific during World War II.

Services took place Tuesday morning at the Lady of Fatima Catholic Church near Carlisle and Lomas.

His body will be laid to rest at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.

Family, friends and strangers made their way out here to say goodbye and honor Nez.

Born in 1921 near Gallup, Nez would later attend a boarding school in Tuba City, Ariz.

In the tenth grade, a Marine Corps recruiter came to the school looking for Navajos like Nez. Little did he know, he would become a code talker. He was sworn into the corps in 1942.

His Navajo language was used to send messages to allied troops – in code – to stump the Japanese.

Gov. Susana Martinez asked for flags to be displayed at half mass Tuesday in honor of Nez. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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