This Day in Death

6.4.14: Chester Nez, Last WW II Navajo Code Talker – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:06 am June 13, 2014

CHESTER_NEZNow that’s how you take a picture. Grave, dignified, still wondering what exactly happens to your soul when the flash goes off. My theory is it goes to a place called “The Dream Zone,” but most of the evidence I’ve gathered thus far is admittedly pretty weak.


Chester Nez, last of the Navajo “code talkers,” the group that helped the U.S. military transmit and receive secret messages during World War II, has died at the age of 93. To honor Mr. Nez’s work, I’m writing the rest of this post in a unique and fun alphanumeric code. It’s easy: First, make a table of the first 26 prime numbers. The first is 2. Then 3, I think. Then I’m pretty sure it skips 4 and goes to 5. After that you’re kinda on your own. Or maybe it skips 3 and goes to 4? I don’t know, you can probably trial and error that out for yourselves. To be honest I’m not sure I know what prime numbers are. I think I may’ve meant to use exponents this whole time… You know what, nevermind. I’ll just write in whatever language I normally use for these things. Uh, English, I guess.

U.S. forces had decided to base a code around the Navajo language because of the extreme difficulty it posed to non-Navajos to understand or replicate it. Also, because if you’re going to mercilessly exploit a culture for hundreds of years, it’s only right that you use every part of that culture. Now, astute readers will notice I kinda already used that joke once before. That’s true, but I hadn’t yet used it twice. Getting as much mileage as possible out of a single flimsy premise is what the Native Americans would’ve wanted, which proves that I’m just a little more in tune with the Navajo spirit than you guys. That would explain why I’m so big on ponchos.

Nez was among the code talkers who were shipped out to Guadalcanal in 1942, where the code talkers worked in teams of two, with one relaying and receiving messages while the other cranked the portable radio and listened for errors in transmission.

“That was my first combat experience, and there was a lot of suffering and a lot of the condition was real bad out there,” he told CNN’s Larry King in 2002.

Despite being discharged after WWII Nez still volunteered to fight in Korea, an admirable decision that speaks volumes for he and his people. God knows that if a bunch of pasty Puritans came to my land, fucked up all my maize crops and gave my family herped-out blankets or whatever, the last thing I’m doing is voluntarily working with their military. Then again, I’m a very petty guy. I once willed myself to menstruate just because my 9th grade biology teacher told me I couldn’t. Don’t you sick the “Can’t” Police on me, Mrs. Blackthorn!


Source: CNN

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