World War II Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor Heads to Site of Attack for 75th Anniversary - NBC Southern California

World War II Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor Heads to Site of Attack for 75th Anniversary

Navy Veteran Raymond Chavez, 104, may be the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor in the country.

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    Navy veteran Ray Chavez, 104, may be the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor. Chavez shared his memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor with NBC 7's Bridget Naso as he prepares for a trip to Hawaii to honor the 75th anniversary of the attack. (Published Monday, Nov. 28, 2016)

    One of the few remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor will return to the site for the 75th anniversary of the attack. 

    Navy Veteran Raymond Chavez, 104, may be the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor in the country. 

    Chavez said he was in a mine sweeper in the early morning hours in Pearl Harbor on that day in 1941.

    "On December sixth it was very quiet, but on December seventh everything broke loose," he said. 

    He says later that morning, the submarine was destroyed, but warnings of incoming Japanese were ignored. That was the start of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Chavez lost several of his friends in the attack. The ships he served on in World War Two were in eight battles. He says he is lucky to have survived.

    "I was in all during the war from start to finish I was in Pearl Harbor when it started I was in Okinawa when it ended," Chavez recalled.

    Chavez and his daughter have been to Pearl Harbor a few times in the last decade, but this year is special – it’s the 75th anniversary. The pair plan to attend the remembrance ceremonies and the memorial services for all the people who lost their lives in the attack.

    Chavez says he goes back to remember those lost and those who are not well enough to travel.

    "It makes me feel good to be there and honor all the ones that are passed away and also the ones that are still living but couldn't attend," he said.