92-year-old World War II Navajo code talker dies in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A Navajo man who helped stump the Japanese during World War II using a code based on his native language has died in suburban Salt Lake City.

Ernest Yazhe’s daughter Melissa Yazhe tells The Salt Lake Tribune that her 92-year-old father died of renal failure Tuesday.

Yazhe joined the U.S. Marines when he was 19 and became one of the hundreds of code talkers who played a vital combat role by transmitting battlefield messages in an unbreakable Navajo-based radio code.

Yazhe’s family says he served in Guam and Okinawa and helped repatriate Japanese prisoners of war in China after Japan surrendered.

Yazhe was discharged in 1946 and moved to Utah, where he worked for Kennecott Utah Copper.

His survivors include six children and six siblings.
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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

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