Allen Dale June, original Navajo Code Talker and code developer, dies at 91

Allen Dale June, one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers who encrypted American military communications during World War II using principles of indigenous language, died Wednesday night in Prescott, Arizona, at age 91.
The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They sent thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war's ultimate outcome.

Several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers during the war, but a group of 29 that included June developed the code based on their native language. Their role in the war wasn't declassified until 1968.

One of original Navajo Code Talkers dies in Arizona



  1. I was at a Marine Corps Birthday Ball several years ago, and, in accordance with tradition, the youngest and oldest Marines present came forward to cut the cake. The oldest was some funny looking dude in khaki pants and a yellow windbreaker (everyone else was either in a dress uniform or a tuxedo.) As the narrator read his bio, it started out sounding like the index from a history of the Pacific campaign. All the well known battles. Then he started talking about specifically what this man had done, and the crowd of around a thousand all seemed to realize at one time that he was a Navajo Code Talker. We leapt to our feet and cheered for probably a solid five minutes. The narrator stepped away from the mic and the band stopped playing. It was pretty cool. What a hero.

  2. One who walked among us and used the gifts of the Creator to defend and protect all his relations has walked west. Safe Journey.

  3. I met Allen a couple years ago in Colorado and he was awe inspiring. We shared a beer and he was very nice to all that were there.

    Important omission: Mr June was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

  4. It’s always weird to hear about someone that sounds so awesome, dying in a town I’ve been to. I feel disappointed somehow that the stars didn’t align long enough for me to have met this man, and listened to what I’m sure are some kick-ass stories.

    Here is a really great Navajo code-talkers dictionary that I’m certain Mr. June had some hand in creating:

  5. Because it is unique and seldom heard, Navaho sounds unreal to English speakers. Zero context to work from, except maybe emotion, so it’s less familiar sounding than even Chinese, German, or other languages you hear occasionally in movies.

    And when your college roommate is having nightmares and talking then yelling in Navaho in his sleep in the middle of the night, it can scare the living shit out of you!

    The Japanese had it even worse: alien voices on the radio, coming to kill them.

  6. So sorry for the loss of another hero. Please have all WWII vets contact Free trip to DC. Vets need to sign up on line. Many local chapters. Find on line, facebook and youtube. Great organization. 99% of funds go to getting the vets to DC.
    Endorsed by Bob Dole, Clint Eastwood. Tom Hanks and Stephen Speilburg brought a bunch of PTO vets to DC in March. I was there. It was awsome and an honor.

  7. I wonder if this would be called “security by obscurity” these days? Cryptography has always baffled me (even when I ran a corporate firewall!) and I’d be interested to know the answer to this.

    Even if it was, it sure worked at the time — and I never heard of it before. Thanks for a fascinating half-hour of internet surfing to find out a little more.

    Hats off to those guys!

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