Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The youngest person to serve in World War 2 was 12 years old

This kid literally could not wait to go join the military. At 12, Calvin Graham lied about his age, and was enlisted in the Navy in May 1942. He was wounded at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, while serving aboard the USS South Dakota. During the battle, he aided the fire control efforts aboard the South Dakota, suffering fragmentation wounds in the process.
At the age when the most a kid can do is win a spelling bee, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Later on, his mother revealed his age (not cool, mom) and his spent 3 months in a brig for lying. He was dishonorably released when his sister threatened to contact the newspaper. He waited until he was 17, and then joined the United States Marines. He spent the rest of his life fighting for medical benefits and a clean record. In 1978, he was finally awarded an honorable discharge and all but his Purple Heart medals were reinstated.

Calvin Leon Graham
Seaman First Class Calvin Graham in May 1942
BornApril 3, 1930
Canton, Texas
DiedNovember 6, 1992 (aged 62)
Fort Worth, Texas
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
United States Marine Corps
Years of service1942-1943, 1948-1951
RankSeaman First Class - USN
Corporal - USMC
UnitUSS South Dakota
Battles/warsWorld War II
*Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
AwardsBronze Star
Purple Heart


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