Oldest military survivor of Pearl Harbor dies at age 106

Ray Chavez, the oldest U.S. military survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, has died at age 106.

Chavez was the oldest U.S. military survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. He died in his sleep in a San Diego suburb after suffering from pneumonia, his daughter Kathleen Chavez told The Associated Press.

Chavez recently traveled to D.C. in May, where he was honored by President Donald Trump on Memorial Day.

The White House tweeted about his death.

Chavez was aboard the minesweeper USS Condor just hours before the Pearl Harbor attack. The crew spotted the periscope of a Japanese midget submarine. Depth charges were dropped to sink the submarine, and a few hours passed uneventfully.

He told the Union-Tribune he was asleep when the Japanese bombing raid started around 8 a.m. “My wife ran in and said, ‘We’re being attacked’ and I said, ‘Who’s going to attack us? Nobody,’” Chavez told the Union-Tribune. “She said that the whole harbor was on fire and when I got outside I saw that everything was black from all the burning oil.”

"Ray Chavez was a very active member for years (of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association) and I admired the man," Stu Hedley, 97, a retired Navy chief petty officer who served on the USS West Virginia at the time of the attack, told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

He joined the Navy in 1938.


• Target releases cheese-filled advent calendar for the holidays

• You won't believe the inside of this INCREDIBLE Oakwood house

• 5 things you need to know about Sears' bankruptcy

• Kroger launches wine delivery service

• Keith Urban makes wish come true for dying Ohio fan

About the Author