Skip to main content

Poway Post Office May Be Named After Longest-Living Pearl Harbor Survivor

Congressman Scott Peters discusses bill to rename the Poway Post Office after...

Photo by Lynn Walsh

Above: Congressman Scott Peters discusses bill to rename the Poway Post Office after local Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ray Chavez, July 31, 2019.

Congressman Scott Peters has proposed a bill to posthumously honor the longest-living Pearl Harbor survivor by naming the Poway Post Office after him.

Peters introduced the bill in May, that would rename the Midland Road location the “Ray Chavez Post Office.”

Listen to this story by Lynn Walsh.

Chavez was born in San Bernardino, California in 1912. He joined the Navy and served as a quartermaster aboard multiple ships during World War II. He had just finished a minesweeping mission when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Chavez eventually rose to the rank of chief and served on transport ships throughout the war.

He has been honored a myriad times in recent years for his service. In 2016, he participated in a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. In 2018, he met President Donald Trump during a Memorial Day celebration at the White House.

“Ray Chavez was an outstanding man and sailor who served his country with honor, both during and after his enlistment,” Rep. Mike Levin said. “As the grandson of a World War II veteran, I am deeply grateful for Ray’s service and I am honored to join Congressman Peters and other elected officials in recognizing his extraordinary legacy.”

Video: Poway Post Office Named After Deceased Pearl Harbor Survivor

Reported by L. Matthew Bowler

Peters said the bill to rename the post office is backed by the entire California congressional delegation.

Ray Chavez died last year at the age of 106. At his funeral service, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer issued a proclamation, declaring Dec. 13, 2018, to be Ray Chavez Day in San Diego.

Humble in life and death, his daughter, Kathleen Chavez, said this honor would surprise her dad.

“He’s probably looking down from heaven right now saying, ‘gosh I don’t know why they are making such a big deal, I was just doing my job,’” she said.

“Ray was known to many as the oldest surviving veteran of Pearl Harbor, but here in Poway, he’s remembered as a father, friend, and businessman,” Peters said. “Naming this post office, in some ways, honors all our veterans and thanks them for their service. Ray embodies the best of the Greatest Generation and a legacy of veterans who sacrificed so much for our country.”

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

The California Coastal Commission has encouraged cities to include a strategy called “managed retreat” in plans to prepare for sea level rise. But the commission may be retreating from that position. Plus, a California appeals court has stopped plans to build houses on a 1400 acre ranch near Julian and the post office in Poway may soon be getting a ... Read more →

Aired: August 1, 2019 | Transcript

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

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.