Flags lowered to honor Navajo Code Talker

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By Associated Press

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo President Ben Shelly has ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of Navajo Code Talker Johnny Alfred.

Tribal officials say the 91-year-old Alfred died on Saturday.

Flags will be lowered across the Navajo Nation for five days starting Wednesday.

Alfred enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942. He was one of hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to confound the Japanese during World War II.

Shelly says Alfred was a hard-working and compassionate man who served the country well.

Alfred is survived by his wife, five children, 20 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled Wednesday morning at the Assembly of God church in Tuba City. Burial will follow at a family plot.