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WWII-era Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye Sr. Dies at 97

Associated Press

The Navajo Nation has announced that World War II-era Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye Sr. has died.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Friday that Begaye died Friday in Chinle, Arizona. He was 97.

The cause of death was not listed.

Begaye was among hundreds of Navajos who served in the Marine Corps, using a code based on their native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II.

According to the Navajo Nation, Begaye served as a Navajo Code Talker in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 and fought in the Battle of Tarawa and the Batter of Tinian. He spent a year in a naval hospital.

President Donald Trump honored Fleming and two other Navajo Code Talkers at the White House in November 2017.

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