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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Interview With Pearl Harbor Survivor Raymond Chavez

On Dec. 7, 1941 - the day President Franklin Roosevelt said would live in infamy - Japanese war planes launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After two hours of destruction, 21 ships in the Pacific Fleet and 188 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. The largest toll was human: 2,408 people were killed on the ground and sea.

Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and it will be commemorated from San Diego to Hawaii. One of the few remaining survivors of the attack lives right here in San Diego county: 99-year-old Raymond Chavez is a Navy survivor who now lives in Poway. He and his daughter boarded a plane to Hawaii Tuesday to participate in memorial ceremonies.

Chavez said his Navy crew actually witnessed a Japanese submarine try to enter Pearl Harbor several hours before the fateful attack. He said he still remembers the massive destruction, and the smell of smoke. Watch an interview with Chavez in the video above.

Video by Nicholas McVicker

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