Frank Tsosie Thompson

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Frank Tsosie Thompson (September 4, 1920 – June 2, 2008) was an American Navajo code talker in the United States Marines during World War II.[1]


Thompson was born in Crystal, New Mexico, on September 4, 1920.[1] He attended board schools in Albuquerque and Fort Defiance, Arizona.[2] He enlisted in the United States Marines on the day he graduated from high school, May 5, 1942.[1][2]

Thompson served in the Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division during World War II.[1][2] He served in a number of battles across the Pacific theater, including Tarawa, Abemana Atoll, Guadalcanal, Saipan and Tinian.[1] Thompson reached the rank of corporal.[1] He remained in the U.S. Marines from May 5, 1942, until September 17, 1945.[1]

Thompson attended New Mexico Highlands University from 1947 until 1948 after the war using the G.I. Bill.[2] He became a carpenter by profession.[2] He worked in maintenance for the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance, Arizona, for 37½ years until his retirement in 1991.[1][2]

He was awarded the Congressional Silver Medal for his service as a code talker in 2001.[1]

Frank Thompson died of natural causes at the age of 87 on June 2, 2008, in Breadsprings, New Mexico.[1] Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr ordered that all American flags on the Navajo Nation be lowered to half staff from June 4 until June 7, 2008, in honor of Thompson.[1] Shirley also issued a proclamation saying that Thompson "served the United States of America and the Navajo Nation with courage, honor and distinction."[1] His funeral was held at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Gallup, New Mexico, and he was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery.[1]

Thompson was survived by his wife, Janet B. Thompson, his children Janice Thompson, Cassandra Bloedel, Floyd Thompson, Frankie Thompson, Terry Thompson, Francine Thompson and Valeri Llopis, and seven grandchildren.[2]