Navajo Nation mourns death of WWII Code Talker





PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Willard Varnell Oliver, a member of the Navajo Code Talkers who confounded the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in their native language, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Lawrence Oliver said his father died at the Northern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System Hospital in Prescott, Ariz. He had been declining health for the past two years.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. ordered flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff from Oct. 15-19 in honor of Oliver, who is at least the fifth Code Talker to die since May.

Oliver was part of an elite group of Navajo Marines who confused the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in Navajo.



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