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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : latest news : regional August 29, 2016

4/23/2013 9:50:00 AM
Navajo Code Talker Albert Smith dies April 17
Navajo Nation flag lowered April 19-22 to honor veteran
Navajo-Hopi Observer

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Code Talker Albert Smith, 88, passed away April 17.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly ordered the Navajo Nation Flag lowered from sunrise April 19 through sundown April 22 in honor of Smith.

"Vice President Rex Lee Jim, First Lady Martha Shelly and myself offer our prayers and condolences to the family of Code Talker Smith. His legacy of being a Code Talker will be remembered for generations to come. The Navajo Nation mourns the loss of one of our modern day heroes and warriors," Shelly said.

Smith was born Dec. 13, 1924. He was Salt People Clan and born for Black Streak Wood People. Smith served in the 4th Marine Division Battalion, 23rd regiment during World War II and served in Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and the Marshall Islands. He began his service as a Code Talker in 1942.

"I think about our Code Talkers and their deeds, it makes me proud to know that these young Navajo men helped defeat the Japanese. Code Talker Smith was among those young men who used our language to defeat the enemy. They came home without being able to tell us of their deeds. We recognize them today and their heroic deeds," Shelly said.

Smith also served as an advisor to the movie "Windtalkers," which depicted the inception and service of the Navajo Code Talkers.

In 2001, he was honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during World War II. Smith also was an honored guest in New York's Fifth Avenue Veteran's Day Parade last November.

Smith is survived by his daughter, Alberta Holman; brothers, George Smith of Mariano Lake, N.M., Donald Smith of Bluewater, N.M., Leonard Smith of Sundance, and Phillip Lee Smith of Monument Valley, Utah; sisters, Yvonne Denetclaw of Fruitland, N.M., Florence Dick of Iyanbito, N.M., Phyllis King of Iyanbito, and Diane Smith of Sundance; and two grandchildren.

Smith was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Smith, of Laguna, N.M; parents, Red and Betsy Dawoola Smith; stepmother Johanna Smith; brothers Sherman Pinto, Ray Smith, George Smith; sisters Mary Christine Begay and Dorothy Jaramillo.

"Code Talker Smith will be remembered as a educator, warrior and a hero among our Navajo people," President Shelly said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2013
Article comment by: Janet Warner

I honor and salute the Code talkers and all other Navajo who served and sacrificed in the U.S. wars. And thanks also to these warriors' families who gave up so much.

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