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Services set for Chester Nez, last original Navajo Code Talker

Jun. 5, 2014 - 09:47AM   |  
Chester Nez
In this June 23, 2011, file photo, Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez, the last of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers, holds a photo of himself (from 1951 or 1952) in Albuquerque, N.M. He died Wednesday of kidney failure, said Judy Avila, who helped Nez write his memoirs. He was 93. (Mark Henle / AP)
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Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez (Dean Hanson / AP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Flags will be lowered across the Navajo Nation in honor of a tribal member who helped developed a World War II code based on the Navajo language.

Chester Nez died Wednesday of kidney failure in Albuquerque. The 93-year-old was the last of the original group of 29 Navajo Code Talkers.

Navajo President Ben Shelly ordered flags flown at half-staff from Thursday to sunset on Sunday.

A public viewing for Nez is scheduled Monday evening in Albuquerque. A Mass is scheduled at Our Lady of Fatima in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning.

Nez will be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Nez enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, becoming part of the first all-Native American unit of Marines. He and 28 others developed a code that confounded the Japanese.

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