Dooley Dewey Shorty, Navajo Code Talker

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Dooley Dewey Shorty, Navajo Code Talker

Birthplace: Cornfields Well, Apache, AZ, USA
Death: Died in Albuquerque, NM, USA
Place of Burial: Cornfields Well, Apache, AZ, USA
Managed by: Danny Franklin Drollinger
Last Updated:

About Dooley Dewey Shorty, Navajo Code Talker

Birth: Jun. 8, 1911 Cornfields Apache County Arizona, USA

Death: Jun. 8, 2000 Albuquerque Bernalillo County New Mexico, USA

Dooley D. Shorty, who helped to train the fabled Navajo Code Talkers, a team of marines who used a code based on the Navajo language to befuddle the Japanese military in World War II, died on June 4 in Albuquerque. He was 88.

Navajo, an Indian language that has no written form, was chosen by the Marines as the language least likely to be understood by the enemy. And sure enough, during the war in the Pacific, Japanese cryptographers cracked the codes of the United States Army, Navy and Air Force but never had any idea what was meant by the sounds they intercepted on Marine radio broadcasts. Marine commanders could issue orders and report troop movements in safety.

Partly because the Navajo language has few words for modern military equipment, Mr. Shorty and his colleagues added a second meaning to some expressions. For example, tas-chizzie, the Navajo word for swallow, was used to mean torpedo plane. Jay-sho, or buzzard, was used for bomber. And da-he-tih-hi, or hummingbird, was a fighter plane.

Mr. Shorty was one of the original 29 Navajo men assigned to train fellow Navajos in the code.

All told, there were about 400 Navajo Code Talkers, and they worked extremely well. In the first 48 hours of the battle of Iwo Jima, Navajos sent or received 800 messages without an error.

The code was considered so valuable that it was classified until 1968. Since then, the story has attracted historians, screenwriters and politicians. The story of these men who fought with their tongues was recounted by Simon Singh in The Code Book (Doubleday, 1999), a history of cryptography, and was recently the subject of a television documentary on the History Channel.

In 1982, President Reagan designated Aug. 14 as Navajo Code Talkers Day.

Last Thursday, the United States Senate adopted a proposal by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, to honor the Navajo Code Talkers with medals -- a gold medal for the first 29 Marines to join and a silver medal for about 370 others. The proposal, now in the form of an amendment to the Senate's Defense Authorization Bill, is expected to encounter no opposition in the House-Senate conference committee.

Most honors would be made posthumously.

Born on June 8, 1911, on the Navajo reservation in Cornfields, Ariz., Mr. Shorty spent most of his life in Albuquerque. For 30 years, he taught silversmithing at the Intermountain Indian School, one of the largest boarding schools in the Southwest at one time.

Mr. Shorty's survivors include a brother, John Y., and two sisters, Dorothy Paul and Dolores Miller.


Below obituary courtesy of Laurie (#47101289)


The Navajo Times - 8 June 2000

Funeral Mass for Dooley Dwey Shorty Sr., of Albuquerque, New Mexico, age 89, was held on Wednesday, June 7 at the Mary, Mother of Mankind Catholic Church, St Michaels, Arizona with Father Cormac officiating. Burial was at the community cemetery in Cornfields, Arizona. A Rosary was recited June 6 at St. Jude Thaddeus, Paradise Hills Rd., Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Shorty died June 4, 2000 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born June 4, 1911 in Cornfields, Arizona. His clans are Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running into the Water People born for the Red House People Clan. He was a Native American Church member for 64 years. He also taught silversmithing at Intermountain School in Brigham City, Utah for 25 years. He was a renowned silversmith and U.S. Marine Navajo Code Talker.

Survivors include his sons Robert Shorty, Roland Shorty, Dooley D. Shorty, Jr., and Benedict Shorty; daughters Delores Healing, Stella Dirkschneider, Emily Harden, Pearl Scott, Lavina Clay, Cordell Shorty, Dorothy Gonzales, Marcella Shorty; brother John Shorty; sisters Delores Miller and Dorothy Paul; 30 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.

Shorty was preceded in death by his parents; wives Katherine Causus Shorty and Elsie Clah Shorty; brothers Harry Shorty, Moon Shorty, High Shorty, Big John Shorty, and David Shorty.

The family will meet at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 at 10301 Trevino Loop NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Burial: Ganado Community Cemetery Ganado Apache County Arizona, USA

Created by: Pam Record added: Dec 23, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 45725319

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Dooley Dewey Shorty, Navajo Code Talker's Timeline

June 8, 1911
Cornfields Well, Apache, AZ, USA
June 4, 2000
Age 88
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Cornfields Well, Apache, AZ, USA