“A fascinating inside look at one of WWII’s most closely guarded secrets…This is an important book, a previously untold piece of our history.”—Marcus Brotherton, author of Shifty’s War
“You don’t need to be a fan of World War II literature to appreciate this memoir…a fascinating melange of combat in the Pacific theater, the history of the Navajo people and the development of a uniquely American code.”—The Associated Press
“A unique, inspiring story by a member of the Greatest Generation.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A remarkably affecting first-person account of the Navajo Marines who served their country with distinction through some of the worst battles of the Pacific theater.”—The Washington Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Although more than 400 Navajos served in the military during World War II as top-secret code talkers, even those fighting shoulder to shoulder with them were not told of their covert function. And, after the war, the Navajos were forbidden to speak of their service until 1968, when the code was finally declassified. Of the original twenty- nine Navajo code talkers, only two are still alive. Chester Nez is one of them.
In this memoir, the eighty-nine-year-old Nez chronicles both his war years and his life growing up on the Checkerboard Area of the Navajo Reservation-the hard life that gave him the strength, both physical and mental, to become a Marine. His story puts a living face on the legendary men who developed what is still the only unbroken code in modern warfare.