Frank G. Willetto, an 84-year-old Navajo code talker, renders honors during the playing of the national anthem at a ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., Feb. 19, 2010.
Navajo Marines, OB DELARAM II, Afghanistan-Forward Operating Base Delaram II, Nimruz province, Afghanistan – Lance Corporals Devin Bidtah and James Nelson, PFC Uriah Billie and Lance Cpl. Travis Yazzie, share a common past through their ancestors. These Navajo men are brothers as Marines, but more profoundly, because their clan ties bind them through the retracing of their ancestry, for some to Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. (Official US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dean Davis)
John Sells (1915 - 2007) was a Navajo Code Talker during WWII. Nearly 60 years passed between the time John Sells, of Shiprock, served as a Navajo Code Talker and the day he told his family he was one of the select group.
Charles Joyce Chibitty (November 20, 1921 – July 20, 2005) was a Comanche Numunu code talker, who spoke in his native language to relay messages for the United States Army during the European Theatre of World War II.
First black Marine Jim Rundles passes away at the age of 94 on March 13, 2014. Jim Rundles came into the Marine Corps at a time that all branches were segregated. He helped bring about the modern thought by Marines that all Marines are just a shade of green. This man survived Montford Point and World War II.
Ira Hayes - American WWII hero. He was one of the men in the iconic Iwo Jim flag-raising photo. Unfortunately, Ira had a very hard time after the war, and eventually died of exposure and alcohol poisoning in 1955.
Member of secret WWII Navajo Code Talker Marine unit dies at 90
PASSING OF A CODE BREAKER George Smith, a member of the famed Navajo Code Talkers, who used their rare and ancient language to outwit the Japanese during World War II, has died. He died on Oct. 30 at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico, said Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly. Smith was 90. Photo: Navajo Code Talker George Smith (Paul Natonabah/Navajo Times)
Navajo Code Talker Wilfred Billey joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 as part of the second wave of Navajo code talkers. He died on December 12, 2013 at the age of 90. He was responsible for the Navajo inscription on the group's 2001 Congressional Gold Medal.