Death of a Code Talker

Keith Little has died. He was 17 when he joined the Marines and became one of hundreds of Navajos trained as Code Talkers. They used a code based on the Navajo language, which was not written. They confounded the Japanese, helped win the war, then went unrecognized for their work until someone made a movie of their wartime lives.

“When I went into the Marine Corps … I knew nothing about the Navajo code,” he said in a 2009 interview. “It was really astonishing to me to get to Camp Pendleton and there were a bunch of Navajos there, and they were working with a Navajo code.”

  • Tom Grier

    This video is a collaborative project created by students of Winona State University and Diné College of the Navajo Nation. The students interviewed Keith Little and created the documentary film during summer 2011 as part of the Navajo Oral History project.