Samuel Tom Holiday

Samuel Tom Holiday

Birth
Navajo County, Arizona, USA
Death 11 Jun 2018 (aged 94)
Ivins, Washington County, Utah, USA
Burial Kayenta, Navajo County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 190537432 · View Source
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Samuel Tom Holiday
June 2, 1924 - June 11, 2018

Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers who used his native language to create an uncrackable code to help win World War II, died in Southern Utah, in Ivins, at age 94 on Monday.

Holiday joined the Corps in 1943 at 19. After that, he served in World War II until 1945, becoming part of a special unit that used the Navajo language to communicate secret messages about troops, tactics and other orders.

The code the team created was indecipherable to the enemy and a key factor in the American military victories at Iwo Jima, Saipan, and several other major battles in the Pacific theater.

Holiday was known in the area for his attendance at veterans events and his visits sharing his experiences with schoolchildren. He spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah.

Redhouse said Holiday passed away in the evening on Monday, surrounded by friends and family who traveled to be with him.
Holiday will be buried on the Navajo Reservation, in Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife, according to Tya Redhouse, his granddaughter.

Holiday, who was born to a medicine woman in Monument Valley, was unsure of his exact birthday, but family members assigned him the date of June 2, 1924, based on the weather and season at the time. His clan was Tódích’íi’nii , born for Bit’ahnii. His maternal grandfather was Tsi’naajínii and his paternal grandfather was Tł’izíłání.

Holiday was 19 when he went through Marine Corps boot camp in 1943. He joined a group of Native Americans who used their native language, which had complex grammar and was unfamiliar to the rest of the world, to develop a communication code for the U.S. military that enemies could not decipher.

Twenty-nine Navajos were recruited to launch the Code Talkers program, but there were more than 400 by the end of the war.


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  • Created by: Sary Bitsoie
  • Added: 12 Jun 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 190537432
  • Spirit Wanderer
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel Tom Holiday (2 Jun 1924–11 Jun 2018), Find A Grave Memorial no. 190537432, citing Kayenta Community Cemetery, Kayenta, Navajo County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Sary Bitsoie (contributor 47922314) .