WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.- A Navajo Code Talker who expended his native communication to outperform the Japanese in World War II has died in New Mexico, Navajo Nation agents said.
David Patterson Sr. croaked Sunday in Rio Rancho at age 94 from pneumonia and complications from subdural hematoma. Few Navajo Code Talkers are still alive.
Patterson and hundreds of other Navajos trained in radio communications were prohibited from talking about the performance of their duties until it was declassified in 1968. Although Patterson couldn’t say much, one of his sons said he was proud of has become a Code Talker.
“He listened as numerous Code Talker happens as he had been able to, ” Pat Patterson said. “It was only when his health started to refuse that he didn’t attend as many.”
Patterson served in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945. He and other Navajos followed in the strides of the original 29 who developed the system and received such Congressional Silver Medal in 2001. During the battle, they radioed meanings consuming Navajo messages for red grime, combat foreman, braided hair and hummingbird, for example.
After his military service, Patterson became a social worker with the tribe’s Division of Social Service until retiring in 1987.
He elevated their own families in Oklahoma, California and Shiprock, New Mexico. He is endured by six children.
Pat Patterson told the Farmington Daily Times that “his fathers” endeavoured to Rio Rancho in 2012 been like living with his youngest lad. He said his father was a dedicated Catholic who loved bingo, baseball and bowling.
Funeral business will be held Thursday at Christ the King Catholic Church in Shiprock, New Mexico. Burial will be at the Shiprock cemetery.