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Flags on Navajo Nation lowered to honor deceased Code Talker

Posted at 8:05 AM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 10:05:20-05

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - Flags on the Navajo Nation will be lowered to honor a revered Navajo Code Talker who died in New Mexico last week.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says all flags will fly at half-staff as a tribute to Joe Vandever Sr. from Monday through Thursday.

Vandever died Friday of health complications in Haystack, according to his family.

He was 96. Vandever was among hundreds of Navajos who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, transmitting messages using a code based on the Navajo language.

The code developed by an original group of 29 Navajos was used to confound Japanese forces.