Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye ordered flags across the Navajo Reservation to be flown at half-staff to honor the life of Navajo Code Talker Bahe Ketchum, who passed away Monday morning.

Ketchum served in the 6th Marine Division from 1944 to 1946 and served in the battles of Guadalcanal, Okinawa and Tsingtao.

The Navajo Code Talkers were part of a group of people who used lesser-known languages as a means of covert communication during WWII. Ketchum won a Congressional Silver Medal for his service as a Code Talker.

Ketchum is survived by 10 sons and two daughters. His wife, Estelle Ketchum, passed away in 2006.

A funeral date has not been set yet and the family plans to establish a bank account for monetary donations.

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