Too Young The Hero The true story of Calvin Graham who at the age of twelve, but looking quite a lot older, succeeded in joining the navy during World War II. In spite of his young age, he received a purple hart for his bravery in the battle of Guadalcanal. When he reported back to his unit after a leave, his world collapsed. Due to a misunderstanding he is reported as a deserter which is the start of a real nightmare.
I thought Rick Schroder did a really good job of playing the role of Calvin. Actually it was a kind of turnabout – while Calvin was 12 and had to pass himself off as 17, Schroder was 17 and had to pass for 12.
Some have pointed out ‘how could the military not have known he was only 12?’. At least one other reviewer pointed out that his teeth would have been a giveaway, well in fact the movie covered that. When he was getting his dental exam the dentist immediately caught that he was only about 12. “You don’t even have your 12-year molars yet, you’ve still got baby teeth!” He handed Calvin his folder and told him to take it to a sergeant to be sent home; instead, when the dentist turned away for a moment, Calvin replaced his folder on the stack and said nothing to anyone. He was past that problem neatly.
There’s more to the story than can or should be shared here. I can only say I found it very interesting and I think this most unusual true story bears watching, and Calvin bears our remembering.