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Another Code Talker is gone....

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  • Another Code Talker is gone....

    Tom Claw, former Navajo Code Talker, dies

    By John Gutekunst
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:51 PM MST

    IN THE PHOTO: On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, Aug. 14, 2008, Claw spoke with radio operators from around the West at the U.S. Army MARS communications station set up on Shea Road by Jim Wooddell. Claw (right) was joined by (from left) his daughter, Pauline James; his wife, Barbara; his son-in-law Rudy James, and his great-grandson, Nathaniel.

    Former Navajo Code Talker Thomas Claw, a resident of the Parker Valley, died during the evening of May 26. He was 87 years old.

    Claw was born in 1922 near Many Farms, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation reservation. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 and was one of approximately 400 Navajo Code Talkers who served with Marines during World War II in the Pacific Theater. Serving with all six Marine divisions, the Code Talkers transmitted important messages in their native language.

    The Navajo language is very complex, and it is considered impossible to learn unless one is immersed in it from youth. At the outbreak of World War II, it was estimated there were no more than 30 non-Navajos in the world who were fluent in the language. None of them were Japanese.

    The Navajo Code Talkers are credited with saving many American lives during the way, and making possible the liberation of much of the land occupied by the Japanese. It is said the Marines could not have taken Iwo Jima without them.

    Claw was one of many Navajos who came to the Colorado River Indian Reservation following the war. He first came to the Parker area in 1947.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, details on services are pending.

    Mr. Claw participated in the Island Hopping Campaigns. He was wounded in Okinawa recieving the Purple Heart. He served with the 1st Marine Division (REIN) and was assigned to 11th Marines. Cannon Cockers. Semper Fi!!!

    ...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.

  • #2
    Dang...the ole ones are leaving at a record rate...And with the ole Fighting First Mar. Div....Semper Fi, Leatherneck...see you on the high ground.

    Whiskey Echo Bravo, out.
    R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...


    • #3

      for grandfather Claw . . .

      thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...


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