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Navajo Nation Honoring Code Talker Who Died at 92

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  • Navajo Nation Honoring Code Talker Who Died at 92

    Teana Wagner
    The Arizona Republic
    Nov. 29, 2007 01:05 PM

    The Navajo Nation will honor a code talker Thursday after he died at age 92.

    John C. Sells, who died Nov. 23, served as a Navajo code talker during World War II.

    The Navajo Nation will honor his efforts by flying the United States and the Navajo flags over the Navajo Nation on Thursday, said George Hardeen, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation.

    The sprawling, 27,000 square-mile Navajo Nation is in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

    This is done to honor all fallen code talkers and soldiers in war, Hardeen said.

    Sells served in the South Pacific and received the Congressional Silver Medal of Honor in recognition of his service.

    The Navajo code talkers assisted the United States Marines transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language. The Navajo language was used as a code during World War II in the South Pacific.

    Sells is survived by his wife Alice S. Sells, and children Joseph H. Sells and Erma J. Archuleta of Santa Fe, N.M., Trudy Erickson of Cortez, Colo., Christopher F. Sells of Montona, Alton D. Sells and Cheryl Davis Sells of Upper Fruitland, N.M.

    He had 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

    Sells was born in Oak Springs on Feb. 15, 1915. Sells worked as an X-ray technician, auto mechanic, and heavy equipment operator at Navajo mines in Fruitland, N.M., according to the release. He was also the owner and operator at Plateau Gas Station in Shiprock.

    There is an online condolence book sponsored by the Arizona Republic.

    Guest Book - John Sells

    Thank you for your brave service!

  • #2
    He didn't tell anyone what he did until 2001 when President Bush and members of Congress officially recognized them. His wife had not known for almost 60 years that he was the genuine article....a real native american hero....Semper Fidelis Marine!!! See you on the beach....

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.


    • #3
      I'm glad that they are honoring him. I didn't know him, but a friend of mine's father was a Navajo code talker in WWII and she has spoken of this many times. The are true hero's. My prayer's go to his family.


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