ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- One of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers has died in southern Utah.
The Navajo Nation says Samuel Tom Holiday died Monday evening surrounded by friends and family. He was 94.
Yesterday, Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday passed away at 94 years old.— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 12, 2018
Holiday, one of the last surviving Code Talkers from WWII, joined the Corps at 19 and became part of a legendary group of Native Americans who encoded messages in the Navajo language.
Semper Fi pic.twitter.com/Lbl2D3l5Jn
Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it.
Holiday spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins.
Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war.
Holiday will be buried in the Navajo community of Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife.
The library at the Kayenta Middle School is named for Holiday.