Graham, Calvin, SN

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Seaman
Last Primary NEC
SN-9700-Seaman - Infantry, Gun Crews, and Seamanship Specialists
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman
Primary Unit
1942-1943, USS South Dakota (BB-57)
Service Years
1942 - 1943
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Decommissioning
SN-Seaman

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

9 kb

Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1930
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Graham, Calvin (12 year old sailor), SN.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Born in Canton, Tx, grew up in Crockett, Tx. Died in Fort Worth, TX

Date of Passing
Nov 06, 1992
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Calvin Graham, 62, Who Fought in War As a 12-Year-Old 

Published: November 9, 1992

Calvin L. Graham, who gained attention as the boy who lied so he could enlist in the Navy at age 12 during World War II, died Friday in his house in Fort Worth. He was 62 years old.

He died of heart failure, said his stepson, Ronnie O'Donley.

The young Mr. Graham was a gunner on the U.S.S. South Dakota while it was buffeted by the Japanese in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. He was struck in the jaw and mouth by shrapnel while his battleship suffered 47 enemy hits. Though seriously wounded, he helped pull other crew members to safety.

The next year, the Navy discovered Mr. Graham's age. He became known to headline-writers as the "baby vet" after the Navy gave him a dishonorable discharge and revoked his disability benefits and his decorations, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Sought Return of Medals

In later years he struggled to get the decorations and the benefits back and to get an honorable discharge, retroactively. He was aided by political figures like the Senators Lloyd Bentsen, a Democrat, and John G. Tower, a Republican, both of Texas.

In a 1978 interview, Mr. Graham said the discharge program for Vietnam War deserters had given him a hope of getting his discharge at last. He said he "damn sure" deserved one more than a deserter did.

Eventually, he got the discharge, and won back all his decorations, except the Purple Heart. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that granted him disability benefits.

Mr. Graham, the youngest of the six children in a farm family, was born in Canton, Tex., grew up in Crockett, Tex., and quit school there to join the Navy. For years after the war he sold subscriptions to Life, Look and other magazines by telephone.

In addition to Mr. O'Donley, he is survived by his wife of 24 years, the former Mary Winfield O'Donley; a stepdaughter, Lora O'Donley, both also of Fort Worth; a step-granddaughter; and a sister, Eve Lue Sharman of Polk County, Tex.

   
Other Comments:
He enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 12.

If anyone has any other information about Calvin Graham please contact me..
   
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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)
Start Year
1942
End Year
1943

Description
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between 7 August 1942 and 9 February 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II. It was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.

On 7 August 1942, Allied forces, predominantly American, landed on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida in the southern Solomon Islands with the objective of denying their use by the Japanese to threaten the supply and communication routes between the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The Allies also intended to use Guadalcanal and Tulagi as bases to support a campaign to eventually capture or neutralize the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain. The Allies overwhelmed the outnumbered Japanese defenders, who had occupied the islands since May 1942, and captured Tulagi and Florida, as well as an airfield (later named Henderson Field) that was under construction on Guadalcanal. Powerful US naval forces supported the landings.

Surprised by the Allied offensive, the Japanese made several attempts between August and November 1942 to retake Henderson Field. Three major land battles, seven large naval battles (five nighttime surface actions and two carrier battles), and continual, almost daily aerial battles culminated in the decisive Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in early November 1942, in which the last Japanese attempt to bombard Henderson Field from the sea and land with enough troops to retake it was defeated. In December 1942, the Japanese abandoned further efforts to retake Guadalcanal and evacuated their remaining forces by 7 February 1943 in the face of an offensive by the US Army's XIV Corps, conceding the island to the Allies.

The Guadalcanal campaign was a significant strategic combined arms victory by Allied forces over the Japanese in the Pacific theatre. The Japanese had reached the high-water mark of their conquests in the Pacific, and Guadalcanal marked the transition by the Allies from defensive operations to the strategic offensive in that theatre and the beginning of offensive operations, including the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Central Pacific campaigns, that resulted in Japan's eventual surrender and the end of World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
Jan 13, 2008
   
Personal Memories

Memories
Awarded Bronze star and Purple Heart for actions onboard USS South Dakota

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
USS South Dakota (BB-57) - Battle of Guadalcanal

  504 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adams, Kenneth Vernon, PO2, (1941-1944)
  • BANZET, ROBERT, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Brosnan, Ryan
  • Burlingame, Archie, S1c, (1923-1943)
  • Burton, Stephen
  • Butler, William Clayton, RADM, (1926-1959)
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