Chester Nez

Chester Nez—Code Talker

Chester Nez was one of 29 Navajo U.S. soldiers who developed an unbreakable code based on their native language during World War II. Mr. Nez and his team were touted for helping win the war in the Pacific using a code that was never broken by the Japanese. A Congressional Gold Medal recipient, Mr. Nez spoke to Wausau veterans and community members on Veteran’s Day 2013. The following day, Mr. Nez and Code Talker author Judith Avila spoke to students from around the community at a special A Walk in Their Shoes presentation at Wausau East High School. Students and community members alike were thrilled to meet a true American hero, a living example of the Greatest Generation. It was one of the last public appearances Mr. Nez made. On June 4, 2014, Mr. Nez died—the last of the original Navajo Code Talkers.  In 2010 Mr. Nez said, “The Japanese did everything in their power to break the code but they never did.” Over 4,400 central Wisconsin students and community members were privileged to meet this living legend and experience living history through A Walk in Their Shoes.