Loyd, Oliver; Funeral held for 1 of last Navajo Code Talkers

Laveen, Arizona (AP) March 2011

Tribal members gathered at a church near Phoenix to remember one of the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.

Lloyd Oliver was a member of an elite group of Marines who developed a code based on their native language during World War II.

He died last week at age 88 at a hospice in Avondale, Ariz.

At the funeral at Gila Crossing Presbyterian Church in Laveen, Navajo President Ben Shelly presented a Navajo Nation flag to Oliver’s widow and family and another flag to the family of Oliver’s late first wife.

The code talkers sent thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war’s ultimate outcome.

With Oliver’s death, only one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers now survives.