John Kinsel, Sr.- Navajo Code Talker

John Kinsel Sr.- Navajo Code Talker

John Kinsel - Navajo Code Talker-05-20-10

Photo by Tom Grier/Navajo Oral History Project.

Navajo Oral History Project

John Kinsel Sr. was born in 1921 and raised on the Navajo Nation in Lukachukai, Arizona.  During his last months of high school, in 1942, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

John Kinsel - Navajo Code Talker -22-05-20-10

Photo by Tom Grier/Navajo Oral History Project.

After he graduated, John enlisted in the U.S. Marines. During his time in World War II, 1942-1945, he was a Navajo Code Talker in the 3rd Marine Division in the South Pacific.

John Kinsel Haskie-Kinsel Group-05-20-10Photo by Tom Grier/Navajo Oral History Project.

John Kinsel, Sr.- Navajo Code Talker – Navajo Oral History Project Video

Project completed by:
Marcus A. Lake – DC
Revaline Nez – DC
Michael Ruka – WSU


This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2009.

It contains stories Grandma Marjorie Thomas of Chinle, Arizona, told the students during several hours of interviews about her life.

This documentary film is archived at the Navajo Nation MuseumNavajo Nation LibraryWinona State University Library, and Diné College Library, and will be archived at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The film is part of the Navajo Oral History project, a multi-year collaboration between the Winona State UniversityMass Communication Department and Diné College– The official Tribal College of the Navajo Nation


Navajo People Website Links:

Navajo Culture – Navajo History – Navajo Art – Navajo Clothing Navajo Pictures – Navajo Rugs – Navajo Language– Navajo Jewelry – Navajo Code Talker – Navajo Pottery – Navajo Legends – Hogan’s – Sand Painting – Navajo Food – Navajo News – Navajo Nation




  1. Beth Hague, Texarkana, TX says

    So honored to meet you on July 4th, 2018 in Old Town Albuquerque signing books! Thank you for your honorable service to our country!

  2. Eleanor Hirneisen says

    I had the pleasure of meeting your daughter Theresa in Gallup NM 11/16. She gave me the information to this website. I was honored to listen to your story and have passed on the website inform. to my friends. So wonderful that you are still alive and doing well at the age of 95 years old.May God bless you. I would love to someday meet with you in person, it would be an honor sir. Thank you so much for your service. The code talkers were an amazing contribution to our armed forces.

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