LOMA LINDA (AP) — Navajo Code Talker Joe Morris, one of more than 400 American Indians who used the language of ancestors to relay secret battlefield orders during World War II, has died in California at 85.

Daughter Colleen Anderson tells the Victorville Daily Press that the longtime resident of the Mojave Desert community of Daggett died Sunday after a stroke at the Veterans Administration Loma Linda Healthcare System.

Navajo Code Talkers were young Navajo men who used their language to successfully transmit secret communications in every major engagement in the Pacific theater, including Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)