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Oldest military survivor of Pearl Harbor dies at 106

Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez during a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 07, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez (center) on December 07, 2016 in Honolulu. Photo by Craig T. Kojima - Pool/Getty Images

Ray Chavez, the nation’s oldest surviving veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor, died in his sleep Wednesday morning at the age of 106, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Chavez joined the Navy in 1938, at 27 years old, and was assigned to the minesweeper USS Condor at Pearl Harbor. His crew spotted a Japanese submarine early on the morning of the Japanese bombing raid. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association once had 58,000 members, now there are fewer than 200.

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