Carl Tsosie: WWII Hero

Carl Tsosie of Santa Fe in 1945 wearing his Army uniform and Navajo War bonnet.

Santa Fe’s Carl Tsosie served in the army during World War II, where he participated in the invasion at Normandy. As a staff sergeant he and his fellow officers met with the top brass one Sunday afternoon where Gens. Eisenhower, Patton and Montgomery provided guidance and inspiration for the difficult battle they were about to ensue. Tsosie was responsible for the Light Weapons Platoon 359 Infantry Regiment on June 6, 1944 when the invasion began. Luckily, he was not injured but on July 4th in Saint-Lô, France, he was wounded in battle sent to a hospital in England.

From the Navajo Nation to Normandy

Carl Tsosie was born on the Navajo reservation in Salina Springs, Ariz., in either 1917 or 1919. The exact date was never known. All Tsosie remembered was his mother telling him that he was born during the month of September when the corn had grown very tall. In 1935 he attended the Santa Fe Indian School graduating in 1938. Tsosie took a liking to the school and enthusiastically participated in the glee club, drama club and lettermen’s club. He also excelled in athletics as a member of the football and basketball teams, as well as in track and field. Tsosie would later return to the Indian School campus in the 1960s as a woodworking instructor for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).

Patriotic Pride

Tsosie received a Purple Heart for his efforts during the invasion at Normandy. For many years he served as the chaplain of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was also a life member and past Commander of the 372 General Hurly Chapter of World War II veterans in New Mexico. He passed away in Santa Fe of natural causes in 2010.

Please support Ana Pacheco's work at:

Buy Me a Coffee

Our nation’s history would not be complete without the story of Santa Fe. Experience the ultimate Santa Fe tour with local historian Ana Pacheco.