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"Sure enough, the whole Harbor was smoking and on fire…" (Video interview, 9:00)

   Raymond Barron Chavez
Collection image
Raymond Chavez [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Dallas (DD 199); USS Condor (AMC 14); USS Ash (AN 7); USS LaSalle (LPD 3)
Service Location: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Francisco, California; New Zealand; New Hebrides; Tarawa Atoll (Gilbert Islands); Kwajalein Island (Marshall Islands); Ulithi (Caroline Islands); Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); New Caledonia; Seattle, Washington; Leyte Island (Philippines); Pacific Theater
Rank: Chief Quartermaster
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Assigned to the minesweeper USS Condor, Raymond Barron Chavez spent the night of December 6th patrolling the waters just outside Pearl Harbor. Finally getting to sleep in the early hours of December 7th, Chavez awakened to find Pearl Harbor in flames. The horrific sights and sounds of the attack would repeat themselves over and over during his tour of duty on the transport ship USS La Salle, which took part in some of the fiercest action of the Pacific theater. He went on to weather the battles of Tarawa, Okinawa, and the invasion of the Philippines—as well as a resultant case of combat fatigue.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (51 min.)
More like this
»Pearl Harbor
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
On mine-sweeping duty the night before the attack; coming across a submarine; seeing the periscope; reporting the submarine’s presence to the USS Ward. (04:36) Coming home after night on duty; going to sleep; being awakened by his wife; disbelief of attack; heading back to his ship; boarding ship and being assigned to position next to the USS Honolulu; observing the carnage; ship cables cut by bombs; spending the next ten days aboard ship. (06:31) Activities in the South Pacific theater; ship suffered heavy casualties during battle of Tarawa; suicide bombers. (04:16)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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