Hol­i­day one of last sur­viv­ing Navajo Code Talk­ers

Houston Chronicle - - NEWS MAKERS -

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.

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