Brown, one of original code talkers, passes on May 22, 2009 John Brown Jr., 88, a Navajo Code Talker and former tribal counciman, died Wednesday morning at his home in Crystal, N.M., according to the president's office. President Joe Shirley Jr. conveyed his condolences to the family. "Today, with sadness, we heard of the passing of Mr. John Brown, Jr., one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers and one of the Navajo Nation's great warriors," Shirley said. "For so long, these brave men were the true unsung heroes of World War II, shielding their valiant accomplishments not only from the world but from their own families. "The recognition and acknowledgment of their great feats came to them late in life but, for most, not too late," Shirley said. "These heroes among us are now a very precious few, and we, as a nation, mourn their loss. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. John Brown, Jr." Shirley ordered flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff beginning May 21 in Brown's honor and until after the funeral. Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced. A community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today at the Crystal Chapter House. Brown was born on Dec. 24, 1921, in Chinle near Canyon De Chelly. His mother was the late Nonabah Begay, who passed away at age 102 two years ago. His father was the late John Brown. Brown went to school at Chinle Boarding School, and graduated from the Albuquerque Indian School in 1940. "From there, he remembered Pearl Harbor," said his son, Frank Brown. "He was playing basketball and heard about the bombing. Sometime after that, he remembered a number of Marine recruiters started talking to the young Navajo boys. He ended up going to Fort Wingate, N.M., to the military installation there." Frank Brown said his father recalled being signed up, sworn in and given his physical right then and there. "They sent him immediately to Camp Pendleton for basic training," he said. "They weren't allowed to go home to say goodbye to their family or write letters. "At some phase in their basic training, they were taken into one big room and a commandant told them they were all there for a special reason, and they were to devise a code in their language," Frank Brown said. "The boys were left there in the room and they didn't know what the heck to do," he said. "But they devised the code using names of animals and mammals to describe what would go with the alphabet." Code Talker John Brown, Jr., Dies Funeral services for John Brown, Jr., 88, Navajo Code Talker and Navajo Council Delegate, will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 10 a.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Stake Center, which is located north of the Chinle IHS turn off in Chinle, Arizona. A viewing will take place at 9:00 a.m. A private burial will be at Mr. Brown’s, residence at Crystal, New Mexico. A post burial reception will be held at the Crystal Chapter House following the interment. A family gathering will take place today at 6:30 p.m. at the Crystal Chapter House. John died Wednesday morning, May 20, 2009 at his home in Crystal, New Mexico. He was born December 24, 1921 in a traditional Navajo hogan on the rim of Canyon De Chelly, Arizona into the Coyote Pass Clan for the Cliff Dwellers Clan. John Brown, Jr. is survived by his wife Loncie Polacca Brown, and his children Dorothy Whilden, Preston Brown, Everette Brown, Virgil Brown and Frank Brown. His other children were the late Dale Brown and the late Ruth Ann McCombs. He is also survived by his grandchildren and great grand children. John served in the Marine Corps as one of the renowned “Original 29 Navajo Code Talkers” who developed a secret code, which was never deciphered by the Japanese and contributed to victory in the Pacific theater of the war and the saving of thousands of GIs. He was trained as a welder, journeyman and master carpenter and cabinetmaker. He was elected a Navajo Tribal Council Delegate in 1962 serving until 1982. He also served as Crystal Chapter president for three terms. John also served the Navajo Nation as a traditional counselor for the Division of Social Services in Chinle, Arizona.
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