Sep 4, 1920-Jun 2, 2008 GALLUP, N.M. - Navajo Code Talker Frank Tsosie Thompson has died at age 87. His son, Floyd Thompson of Gallup, said he died Monday of natural causes in Breadsprings. Thompson was born on Sept. 4, 1920 in Crystal, N.M., and attended boarding schools in Fort Defiance, Ariz., and Albuquerque. He enlisted the same day he graduated from high school - May 5, 1942. Thompson served in Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division and reached the rank of corporal. He was in the Marine Corps from 1942 until Sept. 17, 1945, serving in Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Abemana Atoll, Saipan and Tinian. In 2001, he was awarded a Congressional Silver Medal for his service as a Code Talker. Thompson used the GI Bill to attend New Mexico Highland University in 1947 and 1948, and became a carpenter. He worked in maintenance for the Navajo tribe for 37?1/2 years at Fort Defiance. He retired in 1991. He is survived by his wife, Janet B. Thompson; children Janice Thompson of Breadsprings, Cassandra Bloedel of Republic of Palau, Floyd Thompson of Gallup, Frankie Thompson of Breadsprings, Terry Thompson of Breadsprings, Francine Thompson of Breadsprings and Valeri Llopis of Wickenburg, Ariz.; and seven grandchildren. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Church at Gallup. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. has ordered flags on the reservation to half-staff from June 4 to June 7 in Thompson's honor. Shirley's proclamation said Thompson "served the United States of America and the Navajo Nation with courage, honor and distinction." Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., orders flags to half-staff to honor the late Navajo Code Talker Frank Tsosie Thompson, 87 WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., today ordered flags on the Navajo Nation to be lowered to half-staff from June 4 to June 7 in honor of the late Navajo Code Talker Frank Tsosie Thompson. Mr. Thompson passed away of natural causes on Monday, June 2,in Breadsprings, N.M. He was 87. “The late Frank T. Thompson was aNavajo Code Talker who served the United States of America and the Navajo Nation with courage, honor and distinction,” President Shirley said in his proclamation. The President acknowledged Mr. Thompson’s honorable and distinguished service to the United States for which he was awarded the Congressional Silver Medal in November 2001, and for his nearly 40 years employment for the Navajo Nation. “The Navajo Nation unites and offers prayers for his family during this time of grief,” President Shirley said. “Mr. Thompson dedicated his life both to the United States as a Marine and to the Navajo Nation as a long-time employee.” Mr. Thompson was born on Sept. 4, 1920, at home in Crystal, N.M. His maternal clan was Honágháahnii and his paternal clan was Táchii’nii. He went to boarding schools in Fort Defiance and Albuquerque. He used the GI Bill to attend New Mexico Highland University from 1947 to 1948. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6789 and N.M. American Legion Post 14. He belonged to the Navajo Nation Code Talkers Association and to the Marine Corps Association. Mr. Thompson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on May 5, 1942, the same day he graduated from high school. He served from June 9, 1942, to Sept. 17, 1945. He was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division and attained the rank of corporal. He was assigned to the Navajo Code Talkers right after the original 29 Code Talkers, and helped to develop the code, said his son Floyd Thompson. Mr. Thompson served on Guadalcanal from Jan. 4, 1943, to Feb. 19, 1943, on Tarawa from Nov. 20, 1943, to Nov. 25, 1943, on Abemana Atoll from Nov. 26 to 29, 1943, on Saipan from June 15, 1944 to July 24, 1944, and on the nearby island of Tinian from July 26, 1944 to Aug. 7, 1944. Mr. Thompson was injured at Pearl Harbor when his landing ship for troops exploded. After military service, Mr. Thompson became a carpenter and then worked for Navajo Nation in facility maintenance for 37-and-half years in Fort Defiance, beginning when Navajo Tribal Chairman Paul Jones was in office. He retired on Oct. 10, 1991. He was an avid coin and stamp collector, and loved doing crossword puzzles, his son said. He loved to travel with the Code Talkers, had a lifelong love of carpentry, and would teach school children about meaning of the American flag. Mr. Thompson is survived by wife Janet B. Thompson and his children Janice Thompson of Breadsprings, Cassandra Bloedel of the Republic of Palau, Floyd Thompson of Gallup, Frankie Thompson of Breadsprings, Terry Thompson of Breadsprings, Francine Thompson of Breadsprings, Valeri Llopis of Wickenburg, Ariz., and seven grandchildren. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the Sacred Heart Church in Gallup. Burial will be in the veterans’ section of the Hill Crest Cemetery in Gallup, N.M. Cards and donation may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 967, Gallup, NM 87305.
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