The nation’s oldest veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, Ray Chavez, reportedly died at 106 years old while in hospice care.

Chavez, a native of San Diego, was born in 1911 in San Bernardino. He joined the Navy in 1938 and served on the minesweeper USS Condor. He was asleep when Japan first attacked Pearl Harbor.

“My wife ran in and said, ‘We’re being attacked’ and I said, ‘Who’s going to attack us? Nobody.’ 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.”

Following the attack, over the next four years, he achieved the rank of chief and retired from the Navy in 1945 due to his service-connected disabilities.

“Ray was the epitome of the greatest generation,’ said Richard Rovsek, a trustee of the nonprofit Spirit of Liberty Foundation in Rancho Santa Fe. “He was always proud to be an American and proud of the military.”

Read the Stars & Stripes tribute.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. 11/24/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    I hope Thanksgiving Day was good to you and all.

    WWII is still an eye opener for many when they find out all the facts.

    October 20th, 1942 in the Halls of Congress was one of many eye openers [Shutting down U.S. Sen. Prescott Bush].

    And we know how effective Congress is getting things right after 5 years, a decade, and a few more.

    We must find out who is influencing our nation and adjust correctly.

    This week its Facebook, next week it might be Google, and so on and so on.

    We must watch out for the monopolies in America, and the VA is one.

    “Who’s going to attack us?”—–according to some—–Everyone now!

    This is the time to give Thanks to all our Veterans and our future Veterans.

    We have to be Thankful, and we need to be alert also!

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg
    Special Thanks to the minesweepers USS Condor
    And most sincere condolences from the Karg Family to the Ray Chavez’s Family

    • Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
      Shouting praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission
      All aboard we ain’t a-goin’ fishing’
      Praise the Lord an pass the ammunition
      And we’ll all stay free

  2. I read Ray’s tribute in S&S, it said first his hands started to shake, then arms, by the end of the war his whole body shook. It brought a tear too my eye, It happened to me before I got out, and I watched it happening to others in my platoon as well.
    My most humble and sincere condolences to the Ray Chavez family

  3. I sure hope it wasn’t a VA hospice! VA hospice is co-located with VA “nursing homes.” His last days could have been a hell hole! How do I know?

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