WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation mourned the loss of another Navajo Code Talker June 3 as it was announced William Tully Brown passed away at the age of 96 in Winslow, Arizona.
Flags were ordered to fly at half-staff June 6 in Brown’s honor.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, the 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon and Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne, offered their condolences to Brown’s family.
“The Navajo Nation was saddened to hear of the passing of another brave and selfless Diné warrior. The Nation is grateful for Code Talker Brown’s sacrifices and those of his family and community, to defend the freedom and liberty of our Nation and country,” Nez said.
Brown was born Oct. 30, 1922 in Black Mountain, Arizona, located approximately five-miles north of Tselani/Cottonwood Chapter. Brown was Tó’aheedlííníí (The Water Flow Together Clan) and born for Tł’ááahchí’I (The Red Bottom People Clan).
In 1944, Brown enlisted with the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1946. He received the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Honorable Service Label Button.
“We will always honor and remember the sacrifices he made at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima in the protection of freedom and liberty. Mr. Brown’s contributions to the Tselani/Cottonwood community and the Navajo Nation will always be cherished,” Damon said.
Jayne said she sent her condolences to the family as well.
“To his family, he was a beloved father, uncle, grandfather, but to many of us, he was a hero, Jayne said. “Mr. Brown was a humble man who did not seek recognition but the world now knows of his service to his Nation and his country. We have the power to not forget the contributions of our Navajo Code Talkers. I ask of our people to honor the legacy of our Code Talkers by speaking, learning and teaching our language every day. In this way, they will always be honored and remembered.”
Brown is the third Navajo Code Talker to pass away since the month of May.
“The Navajo Nation mourns for the loss of our warriors, who utilized our sacred Navajo language to protect the country and Navajo land during World War II,” Lizer said. “The Navajo Code Talkers shared their lives with each of us and we will forever be thankful.”
A viewing was held at the Church of Latter-day Saints Chapel in St. Michaels, Arizona, followed by a funeral service at Fort Defiance Veterans Memorial Cemetery.