Begay, Jimmie, Cpl

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
642-Navajo Code Talker
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1943-1945, 2531, 1st Marine Division, I MEF
Service Years
1942 - 1945



 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Kim Sowinski (Sgt Brooks) to remember Marine Cpl Jimmie Begay (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
Not Specified
Last Address
Sawmill, Arizona

Date of Passing
Feb 01, 2012
Location of Interment
Aragon Cemetery - Red Lake, Arizona
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Navajo Code Talkers Association
  2014, Navajo Code Talkers Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

He was one of the last of our Living legends, the Navajo Code Talkers.  We all know our Marine Corps history, these brave Warriors had the only “UNBREAKABLE CODE” using the Dine(Navajo) language.

I had the honor and privilege to be able to meet him in person when he came to the DC Metro area for special events.  In fact I remember the first time I ever met any of the Dine Code Talkers, we had a Peace Pipe Ceremony in Arlington Cemetery and afterwards my Color guard and I marched down to the Lincoln Memorial and the few that came that day refused to drive in the vehicle we had provided for them that day and they Marched behind us all the way.  It was such an honor and very motivating experience, something I will never forget! OOH RAHH!

Other Comments:

Indian Country reported -

Flags across the Navajo Nation are whipping in the wind at half mast this weekend, as Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly ordered the move in honor of Sgt. Jimmie Begay.

Begay, a Navajo Code Talker walked on February 1 at the Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona. He was 88.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Begay. His efforts to defend this country and his people make me proud. My prayers, and the prayers of the First Lady, the Vice President and the Navajo Nation are with the family,” Shelly said.

The flags will be flown at half mast until February 5 in honor the Navajo Veteran who trained as a Code Talker at Camp Eliot before serving in the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion during campaigns at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, Saipan, and Tinian in the midst of World War II.

Begay was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1942. Begay grew up in Sawmill, Arizona and upon being honorably discharged in 1945 finished his schooling at Santa Fe Indian High School. He worked as a guard at the Army Depot-Japanese Internment Camp in Leupp, Arizona, and compted in boxing before venturing into the Navajo Forest Products Industry until he retired in 1985.

For his services during the war, Begay earned numerous commendations, including the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Sophie Begay; parents, Carl Begay and Nazbah Blackgoat; brothers, Kenneth M. Begay and Kee Begay; sisters, Ruth Stewart and Lottie Randall; son, Perry Begay.

Begay is survived by his son, Thurman Begay of Sawmill, Arizona; grandchildren, Jacquelyn A. Begay and Janelle R. Begay of Sawmill, Arizona, Scott Begay and Rhonda Roan of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, February 4 at the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance, Arizona. He will be buried at the family cemetery in Red Lake, New Mexico.

For condolences messages, monetary support, food donations and additional information you may contact Begay’s son, Thurman Begay, at 505-406-7447, via email or via postal mail: PO Box 1084, Fort Defiance, AZ  86504

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA)
 Unit Assignments
Navajo Code Talkers Radio School1st Marine Division, I MEF
  1942-1943, 2531, Navajo Code Talkers Radio School
  1943-1945, 2531, 1st Marine Division, I MEF
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Bougainville
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle for Saipan
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle of Guam (1944)
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle of Tinian (1944)
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