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 Willard Varnell Oliver

Willard Varnell Oliver

Death 14 Oct 2009 (aged 88)
Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
Burial Lukachukai, Apache County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 43105272 · View Source
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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Willard Varnell Oliver, a member of the Navajo Code Talkers who confounded the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in their native language, died Wednesday, he was 88 years old.

Lawrence Oliver said his father died at the Northern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System Hospital in Prescott, AZ. He had been declining health for the past two years.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. ordered flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff from Oct. 15-19 in honor of Oliver, who is at least the fifth Code Talker to die since May.

Oliver was part of an elite group of Navajo Marines who confused the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in Navajo.

The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Their work was declassified in 1968.

Oliver, who grew up between Shiprock and Farmington, NM, served in the South Pacific with the 2nd Marine Division from 1943 to 1945. He was wounded during the battle of Saipan of 1944.

Oliver's brother, Lloyd Oliver, was also a member of the elite group.

His funeral is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Saturday in his hometown of Lukachukai.

  • Created by: Andrena's Daughter
  • Added: 14 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43105272
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  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Willard Varnell Oliver (2 May 1921–14 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43105272, citing Lukachukai Cemetery, Lukachukai, Apache County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Andrena's Daughter (contributor 46512228) .