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World War II Navajo Code Talker Dies at 92


FILE - Former United States Marine and Navajo Code Talker Roy Hawthorne Sr. listens during a ceremony honoring the code talkers' contribution to the WWII U.S. effort, at Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 28, 2015.

A Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to confound the Japanese in World War II has died.

The Navajo Nation says Roy Hawthorne Sr. died Saturday. He was 92.

Hawthorne enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 17 and became part of a famed group of Navajos who transmitted hundreds of messages in their language without error.

The code was never broken.

Hawthorne had been one of the most visible survivors of the group. He appeared at public events and served as vice president of a group representing the men.

He never considered himself a hero.

Hawthorne later served with the U.S. Army.

He's survived by five children and more than a dozen grandchildren.

A funeral service is scheduled Friday.

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