Alfred, Johnny Dale, PFC

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
34 kb
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Last Rank
Private 1st Class
Last Primary MOS
642-Navajo Code Talker
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1943-1945, 642, 2nd Marine Division
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Foreign Language

Private 1st Class


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

35 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine PFC Johnny Dale Alfred (Navajo Code Talker).

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Cedar Ridge, AZ
Last Address
Tuba City, AZ

Date of Passing
Jan 29, 2011
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Navajo Code Talkers Congressional Medal

 Unofficial Badges 

US Marine Corps Honorable Discharge (Original)

 Military Association Memberships
Navajo Code Talkers Association
  2012, Navajo Code Talkers Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Navajo Code Talker Johnny Dale Alfred was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and an in-law to his family. To the rest of the world, he is a hero.

"Johnny was a true warrior," said former Navajo Tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald Sr., who gave the eulogy at the memorial services for his "shaadaa'ni."

"If there was a threat to his people he rose to defend his people," he said.

He said Alfred was born in a sheep corral 1919 somewhere in the Cedar Ridge, Ariz., area. He was Todichii'nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Tohani (Near the Water Clan). He is survived by his wife Lucille Alfred; his five children Lindbergh "Lindy" D. Alfred, Shirley A. Haswood, Natalie S. Alfred, Lawrence J. Alfred, and Larson J. Alfred; 20 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren and one great great-granddaughter.

"He was born here in the Western Navajo Agency, not in a hospital but in a sheep corral," MacDonald said. "We know that in those days there was no way to move around quickly. Transportation was by horse and wagon only. We had no modern conveniences. We had no Basha's, no McDonald's burgers, no cell phones, no Internet, no electricity, no running water. Some of us didn't even have windows.

"Life was hard but it was beautiful," he added.

Alfred attended Tuba City Boarding School where he learned to be responsible to carry out his duties as a student and learned the value of hard work. When he got older he served as a student advisor for a year before enlisting into the Marines and was trained at Camp Pendleton.

The Navajo code was developed then and he was among 439 individuals from the Navajo Nation that served as code talkers. Alfred was 22 years old when he enlisted in Oct. of 1942.

"He was a good man," said Lawrence Alfred, Johnny's son. "He was strict and was very disciplined. He loved his family and he never wanted any kind of recognition."

Johnny had worked 38 years in social services for the BIA until he retired. He was 91 years old.

"The man here with the United States flag draped over his casket lying silent and still, not only was he a veteran, but he was also a hero," MacDonald said. "He, along with many others, helped win the war to keep America free.

"He was a member of the second all-Navajo platoon," he said. "He was resourceful in facing up to the challenge of helping developing the code to make it coherent. It's the only unbreakable code in modern military history.

"Johnny was strong and tenacious," he continued. "He never asked for anything in return. He served without wanting anything in return. He was a humble man grounded in traditional values."

Family members agree.

"He never participated in marching in parades or anything like that," said Lawrence Alfred. "He loved life. He said, 'Why do you want to honor death? It stinks. War is hell. That's why the boogie man comes around at night.' That's what he used to call it when he was dealing with what he saw.

"He said, 'I love life and my family. I don't know why you want to honor death because it stinks.' That's what he told my son a not too long before he passed away," Lawrence continued.

"He was very humble. He never wanted to be honored. He told my son, 'When I'm dead and gone you can do what you want but right now I'm here

"'Why do you want to honor death? It stinks. You kill someone who has loved ones that love them. Somebody that has a family,'" Lawrence recalled his father words.

Lawrence recalled a story of his father's younger years when Johnny and his brother were throwing rocks at a blasting cap that miners left behind. It exploded with the blast knocking them back.

Some time after the explosion, they went looking for Johnny's mother's favorite donkey only to realize that there was blood dripping from holes in the donkey's ears, a result of the blast.

That proved to be a humorous tale compared to what MacDonald noted next.

"Johnny survived four of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific Theater," MacDonald said. "Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa. And like many veterans he never talked about his experiences.

"Our veterans were ferocious in battle and forgiven in victory," MacDonald said. "It was hell. Johnny went through that. Yes, he's a hero. He went through that so our people can live a better life. It's hard to accept that he's gone, that he's no longer with us. He lived a full life. He was 91 years old.

"Our hearts are heavy, our minds are wandering and our souls are numb," he added. "In the meantime, his words and prayers can be comforting to the family."

"Johnny, shaadaani," he said looking at the casket. "Thank you for your contributions. You brought honor to the Navajo Nation. You brought honor to the Navajo people. And you brought honor to the Navajo language."

By Jan-Mikael Patterson
Navajo Times

TUBA CITY, Feb. 5, 2011
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 Ribbon Bar
Rifle Expert (Pre 1959)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA)
 Unit Assignments
Navajo Code Talkers Radio School2nd Marine Division
  1942-1943, 642, Navajo Code Talkers Radio School
  1943-1945, 642, 2nd Marine Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Gilbert Islands Operation (1943)/Battle of Tarawa
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle for Saipan
  1945-1945 Ryukyus Campaign (1945)/Battle for Okinawa
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