Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Ray Chavez, Oldest Survivor Of Pearl Harbor Attack, Laid To Rest At Miramar

The body of Ray Chavez, the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, was laid to rest at...

Photo by Priya Sridhar

Above: The body of Ray Chavez, the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, was laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery on December 12, 2018.

Ray Chavez, the oldest survivor of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery Thursday after a procession around San Diego County.

Chavez died in his sleep Nov. 21 at age 106. A private funeral for Chavez was held at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Poway before his casket was taken to and buried at Miramar National Cemetery this afternoon.

Along the way, the procession passed throngs of county residents who paid their respects to Chavez, a San Diego native.

"He was a true patriot who protected our nation during the attacks on Pearl Harbor and throughout World War II," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at the service. "And of course a long-time, active, great member of our San Diego community."

At the service, Faulconer issued a proclamation, declaring Dec. 13, 2018 to be Ray Chavez Day in San Diego.

Chavez served as a quartermaster aboard multiple ships in the war's Pacific Theater, including a minesweeper stationed in Honolulu the morning of the attack. Chavez eventually rose to the rank of chief and served on transport ships throughout the war.

Chavez has been honored myriad times in recent years for his service in the Navy during the war. In 2016, he participated in a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. Earlier this year, he met President Donald Trump during a Memorial Day celebration at the White House.

"Ray was honored to have served his country and to fight among heroes and loved meeting his fellow comrades," Chavez's family said in a statement. "He cherished his time going to talk to the kids at schools because he doesn't want them to forget Pearl Harbor."

Reported by Kris Arciaga


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.