Code Talker

code talker cover image Code Talker

by Chester Nez
Native American History
Berkeley Trade
Paperback, 320 pages

Chester Nez died last week at age 93. He was the last of the Navajo “code talkers” who stumped the Japanese code breakers in the Pacific Theater during WWII. They created the only unbroken code in modern warfare. Chester Nez was not his real name. Ironically, that was a name given to him at “Indian School” at Fort Defiance where he was punished for using his native language. “All those years, telling you not to speak Navajo, and then to turn around and ask us for help with that same language,” he told USA Today in 2002, “It still kind of bothers me.”  It’s a fascinating and compelling story. One of the best to come out of WWII.