The oldest veteran survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, who lived in Poway, has died.
His family says Ray Chavez, who was 106 years old, died Tuesday night in his sleep from natural causes.Last year, for his 105th birthday, Chavez was honored with a party held on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum. Ray Chavez was an invited guest at the White House, took park in commemorative events in California and Hawaii and was a frequent grand marshal in local parades.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Chavez was born in San Bernardino in 1911 and grew up in San Diego’s Old Town and Logan Heights neighborhoods. He was 27 years old, married with a daughter in 1938 when he joined the Navy and was assigned to the minesweeper USS Condor at Pearl Harbor.
At 3:45 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman 1st Class Chavez’s crew was sweeping the east entrance to the harbor when they spotted the periscope of a Japanese midget submarine. The crew dropped depth charges and sank the sub.