Samuel Sandoval, one of the last Navajo Code Talkers, dies at 98

Samuel Sandoval, one of the last members of the Navajo Code Talkers who coded vital US messages during World War II, has died at the age of 98.

Navajo Code Talkers were known to use language based on the native language of the Navajo Nation to convey messages regarding the placement and movement of Japanese troops during US Marine raids throughout the Pacific. The Navajo language was unwritten at the time, and US enemies had virtually no way of deciphering the code.

Sandoval was one of four surviving Code Talkers out of hundreds recruited during the war. The three others who are alive are Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr., and Thomas H. Begay.

Sandoval’s wife, Malula, announced his death to the Associated Press on Saturday. He died in a hospital near his home in New Mexico.

“Sam always said, ‘I wanted my Navajo youth to learn, they need to know what we did and how that code was used and how it contributed to the world,'” she said Saturday. “That the Navajo language was powerful and our legacy will always carry on.”

Sandoval’s death comes about a month after the US lost its last World War II Medal of Honor recipient.

Hershel “Woody” Williams, 98, was the last of 473 American soldiers to receive a Medal of Honor during World War II. Williams spent his final days with his family in a hospital in his home state of West Virginia.

Williams last appeared in public on Memorial Day, where he attended an event for veterans in Huntington, West Virginia. He noted to local media at the time that the event gave him hope for one resurgence of patriotism in the USA

“I’ve probably been there 25 to 30 times, but I think today we had more honorary wreaths than ever before and that’s encouraging,” Williams told the WSAZ. “It encourages me that we will come back and once again be the United States of America that had so much patriotism and love of home.” Samuel Sandoval, one of the last Navajo Code Talkers, dies at 98


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