World World 2 Facts: Did You Know These 29 Interesting Details?


Calvin Graham Was Youngest Decorated US Soldier at 12

Calvin-Graham-in-1942, World War 2 Facts
Calvin Graham in 1942, the youngest soldier ever to enlist in the U.S. Military
Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau

“Green Boys” was a term given to soldiers who enlisted in the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Eager to fight for their country, these men had no concern about what they would face when they made it to the front lines. One of these “Green Boys” was a young man by the name of Calvin Graham. At the tender age of 12 he lied his way into the U.S. Navy, told his mother he was going to visit relatives, and boarded the USS Dakota headed into the Pacific. The USS Dakota became infamous because of a brutal battle with the Japanese. Additionally, for the incredibly brave men aboard who would bring it home. Graham received a serious jaw injury from shrapnel during the battle, but the courageous young man wouldn’t skip a beat. He helped his fellow injured soldiers with whatever they needed. Upon returning home, Graham received a Bronze Metal and a Purple Heart for his injuries. However, they were stripped and he was given a dishonorable discharge once his mother revealed to the Navy his actual age. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill to return his decorations and an honorable discharge.