Navajo Code Talker dies in Grants

The Daily Times
Navajo Nation

FARMINGTON – One of the men known for using the Navajo language to transmit military messages during World War II has died.

Bill Henry Toledo, 92, died Thursday in Grants, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President.

Toledo was born March 29, 1924, in Torreon. He was Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan), born for Hashtl’ishnii (Mud Clan).  His maternal grandfather clan was Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), and his paternal grandfather clan was Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan).

Toledo enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and completed code talker school at Camp Elliott in California, according to the release.

The release states he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division and was involved in the combat landings at Bougainville in November 1943, Guam in July 1944 and Iwo Jima in 1945.

After Toledo was discharged in October 1945, he completed his education, then worked for mining companies until retiring in 1985.

Toledo also made presentations about the code talkers to national and international audiences, the release states.

“I remember Code Talker Toledo as being a strong and kind man. He was a hero to our nation and the United States at large, as is every other Code Talker and serviceman,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in the release.