/ Modified jul 30, 2022 9:16 p.m.

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval dies

Three left from group.

navajo code talkers VIEW LARGER Navajo Code Talkers in the Pacific.
U.S. Marine Corps

One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers has died. Samuel Sandoval's wife, Malula, says he died late Friday at a hospital in Shiprock, New Mexico.

He was 98. Hundreds of Navajos were recruited from the vast Navajo Nation to serve as Code Talkers during World War II. Sandoval's death leaves three still alive today.

The code that was based on the then-unwritten Navajo language confounded Japanese military cryptologists and helped the U.S. win the war.

The Code Talkers are celebrated annually on Aug. 14, the date the Japanese surrendered.

Malula Sandoval said her husband had been looking forward to the celebration.

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