WINDOW ROCK — Another Navajo Code Talker has died.
Sgt. Jimmie Begay, of Sawmill, died Wednesday afternoon, the Navajo Nation says. He was 86.
Begay was one of about 420 Navajos trained to transmit messages in a code based on the then-unwritten Navajo language.
The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific during World War II, sending thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war’s outcome.
Begay enlisted in 1942 when he was 17 years old. He served in the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion.
Navajo President Ben Shelly has ordered flags lowered across the reservation through Sunday in Begay’s honor.
Services are pending.