Sgt. Maj. Teddy Draper Sr. fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima and received a Purple Heart, as well as a Congressional Silver Medal.


Army Pfc. Chelsea Draper poses with her grandfather, retired Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Teddy Draper Sr., a decorated World War II veteran and a member of the famed Navajo “Code Talkers.” (PHOTO: U.S. Dept. of Defense)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II has died in Arizona.

Navajo Nation officials say Teddy Draper Sr. died Thursday at age 96 in the small city of Prescott.

Tribal officials say Draper lived in Chinle, Arizona.

Draper and other Navajos followed in the footsteps of the original 29 who developed the code.

He was part of the 5th Marine Division, fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima and received a Purple Heart as well as a Congressional Silver Medal.

Funeral plans were pending and a list of Draper’s survivors wasn’t immediately available Thursday.

Draper’s death came nine days after another Navajo Code Talker, George B. Willie Sr., died in Arizona at age 92.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments