A veteran who served in World War II as a 12-year-old sailor until his age was discovered will receive disability and backpay benefits under a bill passed by the House Tuesday.
Calvin Graham, of Fort Worth, Texas, enlisted and served in the Navy during World War II on the USS South Dakota. At age 12, he served in combat zones of the South Pacific and sustained a mouth injury at the 1942 Battle of Guadalcanal, said a statement released by Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas.But in 1943, the Navy learned of Graham's age, voided his service rec-ord and dismissed him.
Graham's story was the subject of a recent made-for-television movie.
The bill, introduced by Frost for House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, compensates Graham for his Guadalcanal injury and provides him back pay and a readjustment allowance denied him in 1943. The injury compensation will be $18,000, Frost's statement said.
"This bill does only what is right and fair - it provides Mr. Graham the medical coverage and compensation which were denied him, but which were received by others serving in the U.S. Navy at the time," Frost said.
In 1943, anyone who served in the Navy during World War II received a readjustment allowance of about $300.