Oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor celebrates big birthday

Oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor celebrates big birthday

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The oldest living survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor celebrated a major milestone this month: He turned 105.

These days, San Diego resident Ray Chavez calls his birthday — on March 10 — an "annual miracle."

"Somebody upstairs is taking care of me and has extended my life this long and I'm very grateful," he told NBC News.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Chavez was assigned to the USS Condor. He was at home when the attack began.

"I saw all the destruction on the ships that were torpedoed and bombed and all the bodies that were scattered around in the oil," he said, in a Library of Congress interview in 2009. "And sailors trying to get out of the (water) ... and being saved by some of the small craft. They'd come right alongside them and pick them up, the ones that were alive."

In December, when the nation marked the 75th anniversary of the attack of Pearl Harbor, Chavez told TIME magazine that it's important that people never forget the events of that day.

"My life changed overnight," he said. "I'll never forget."

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