'Code Talker' Lloyd Oliver dead at 87

March 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM
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GLENDALE, Ariz., March 19 (UPI) -- Lloyd Oliver, one of the Navajo Code Talkers who helped the U.S. effort during World War II by providing uncrackable communications, has died. He was 87.

Oliver, of Glendale, Ariz., died of pancreatitis Wednesday, The Arizona Republic reported.

Oliver was the next to last of 29 original Navajo Code Talkers who used their native language to transmit critical information, which proved unbreakable by the Japanese. The Code Talkers were recognized for their key contribution to the allied war effort with Congressional Gold Medals in 2001.

The lone survivor of that group is Chester Nez, who lives in New Mexico.

Yvonne Murphy, recording secretary for Navajo Code Talkers Association, called Oliver's death "a sad day in Navajo history."

"He was one of the ones who laid the foundation for the design of the language that the Code Talkers used," Murphy said.

After the war, Oliver, a native of Shiprock, N.M., was a talented jewelry silversmith.

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