George B. Willie Sr. Navajo code talker passes

| December 6, 2017 | 18 Comments

We hear the sad news this morning that George B. Willie Sr., who was a Navajo Code Talker at the battle for Okinawa with the 2d Marine Division, has passed at the age of 92 according to ABC 15;

He and other Navajos followed in the footsteps of the original 29 who developed the code and received the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001.

Willie is survived by his wife Emma, 10 children and several grandchildren.

A celebration of life is scheduled Dec. 8 at the Presbyterian Church in Leupp.


Willie was only 18 years old when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served from 1943 to 1946 but didn’t discuss his war efforts because the military told him and other Code Talkers to keep it a secret.

“Like many of our Code Talkers, Willie enlisted into the military at a young age and went on to courageously defend our freedom and liberty as the United States of America,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a press release on Tuesday.

The Code Talkers project was eventually declassified in 1968 though it took Willie some time for him to go public with his service, according to his daughter, Annabelle Smallcanyon.

“He kept to himself but after going to his first meeting with the Navajo Code Talkers, he was able to open up. I was then able to talk with him about it,” Smallcanyon said. “Later on as people would come up to shake his hand, he would stand tall and feel proud about his service as a Code Talker.”

Category: We Remember

Comments (18)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    RIP, young man.

  2. FatCircles0311 says:

    Semper Fidelis, Marine.

  3. Wilted Willy says:

    May God bless you and your family!

  4. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Thank you for serving this nation and defending it from an overwhelming evil.

    “Beauty is before me,
    and beauty behind me,
    above me and below me
    hovers the beautiful.

    I am surrounded by it,
    I am immersed in it,
    In my youth
    I am aware of it.
    And, in old age,
    I shall walk quietly
    the beautiful trail.

    In beauty it is begun,
    in beauty it is ended.”

    May your spirit again walk the beautiful trail sir.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    Fair winds and following seas, Marine.

  6. chooee lee says:

    Well Done. Calm seas and trailing winds.

  7. Eden says:

    Rest in peace, elder brother.

  8. Skippy says:

    Rest well warrior

    My your spirit grace guide and show us the way

    Thank you for your service

  9. Graybeard says:

    A man of honor and valor has gone before us.

    May we walk worthy of his sacrifice.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    Cheyma garano1\!
    Rota hiichia vaselo ~ clauan akkra ~ ishia bagdona ampatta!

    Well done, Mr. Willie.

  11. Sparks says:

    God rest you well Marine.

  12. HMC Ret says:

    Thank you for your service, Marine, at a time when Native Americans were often not treated well.

  13. OldSoldier54 says:

    Thanks for serving, Brother. May the Honor you brought to the Dineh, return upon your own House.

    Walk with the Great Spirit, and I’ll see you in a while.

  14. Green Thumb says:

    Rest well.

  15. desertdweller says:

    I have a Marine Corps poster of the Code Talkers, I was able to meet two of them and they signed the poster, it was an honor for me! I didn’t know that 4 more were in the rear patio and I didn’t meet them or get their autographs…I sincerely hate that I missed them..May they all rest in peace!

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