RIO RANCHO, N.M. – Navajo Code Talker David Patterson, Sr. passed away Sunday at the age of 94, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation.
Patterson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1945. He received the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor.
According to his family, Patterson didn’t talk a lot about his service, but they say he was proud to have been able to serve as a Navajo Code Talker. Reportedly, the Navajo language is the only spoken code to have never been deciphered.
Code Talkers took part in every assault by Marines in the Pacific during WWII from 1942 to 1945 and were a vital part of the Allied victory.
“It’s a sad day on the Navajo Nation when we lose a national treasure like we did in losing Navajo Nation Code Talker David Patterson, Sr. Beyond his service in protecting our freedom, he was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. The Office of the President and Vice President extends our condolences to his family during this time of mourning.” – Navajo Nation President Begaye
The Utah Republican Native American Caucus offers our thanks to Mr. Patterson, and our condolences to his family. We are deeply grateful for those among us who voluntarily serve our country and show the level of patriotism which Mr. Patterson exemplified.
Funeral services will take place at Christ The King Catholic Church in Shiprock, New Mexico, with date to be determined. Desert View Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements. Patterson will be buried on the Military side of the Shiprock Cemetery.
Patterson is survived by his children, David Patterson Jr., Marcus Patterson, Sandy Johnson, Michael Patterson, Pat Patterson, and Calvert Lee.