Original Code Talker dies
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JUNE 12, 2000

Dooley D Shorty, one of the original Navajo Code Talkers, died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 4. Along with 28 other Navajo men, he served an a Marine Corps Radio Operator during World War II.

Shorty trained other Navajo marines during the war, utilizing the Dine language to create a code Japanese cryptographers could not break.

On June 8, the Senate unanimously approved Senator Jeff Bingaman's proposal that would award Congressional Gold Medals to the original group and Silver Medals to the ones who followed. The proposal is part of the 20001 Defense Authorization Bill.

"We have gone far too long without officially recognizing the Navajo Code Talkers. They served with distinction by performing a unique, highly successful communcations operation that greatly assisted in saving countless lives and in hastening the end of the war in the Pacific," Bingaman said last week.

The Code Talkers project was declassified in 1968 and is currently the subject of two screenplays. The Navajo Code Talkers GI Joe was unveiled earlier this year.

Servicemen from other Indian nations also served as Code Talkers, including the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Commanche Tribe.

Shorty was born June 8, 1911.

Relevant Links:
From Hasbro: Navajo Code Talker