Holiday one of last surviving Navajo Code Talkers
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died in southern Utah on Monday surrounded by family members who raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to be by his side.
He was 94.
Holiday was 19 when he joined the Marine Corps and became a part of operations in several locations across the Pacific during the war, according to The Spectrum. A mortar explosion left him with hearing loss, but he would later tell family that he always felt safe during battle because of a pouch around his neck holding sacred stones and yellow corn pollen.
He received a Congressional Silver Medal, a Purple Heart and other recognition for his action during the conflict.
Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years after the war.