LOS ANGELES (AP) – The oldest U.S. military survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into World War II has died at age 106.
Ray Chavez’s daughter, Kathleen Chavez of Poway, California, tells The Associated Press her father died in his sleep Wednesday.
Chavez had visited Washington in May where he was honored by President Donald Trump during Memorial Day services.
He was assigned to the minesweeper USS Condor when Japanese war planes bombed Pearl Harbor.
Hours before the attack, he and others had spotted a Japanese submarine near the harbor and notified a destroyer, which sunk it.
Soon after, his ship docked, and he returned to his nearby home. Minutes later, he would race back to the harbor when Japanese warplanes began to attack.
We are saddened to hear the oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran, Ray Chavez, has passed away at the age of 106. We were honored to host him at the White House earlier this year. Thank you for your service to our great Nation, Ray! pic.twitter.com/CA7Xdcxz89— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 22, 2018