This Day in History: The 12-year-old who served in World War II

On this day in 1942, a 12-year-old distinguishes himself in combat. Yes, you read that correctly: A 12-year-old fought in World War II. Calvin Leon Graham was the youngest person to serve. Calvin had long been accustomed to taking care of himself. He lost his father at a young age. When his mother remarried, her […]

This Day in History: Smoky, the “Yorkie Doodle Dandy” of World War II

On this day in 2005, a memorial is dedicated for Smoky, the “Yorkie Doodle Dandy” of World War II. Smoky was a little Yorkshire Terrier who served alongside Corporal William “Bill” Wynne in the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron. Wynne would call her a “mighty little dog I was fortunate enough to have.” Corporal […]

This Day in History: Joe Nishimoto turns himself into a “one-man Army”

On this day in 1944, a Japanese-American soldier puts his life on the line. More than 50 years later, Joe M. Nishimoto would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his daring and bravery during this week so long ago. Nishimoto was a “Nisei”—a second-generation Japanese-American. He was fighting for a country that had already interned him once. […]

This Day in History: Howard Hughes’s “Spruce Goose” flies

On this day in 1947, the “Spruce Goose” flies for the first and only time. With a wingspan of 320 feet, it remains the largest airplane to ever take to the sky. Did you know that the largest plane ever flown was designed by Howard Hughes? And that it flew decades ago, in 1947? The […]

This Day in History: USS Reuben James, first warship lost in World War II

On this day in 1941, USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German submarine. She would become the first American warship sunk during World War II. But how could that be? Wasn’t America then still neutral? After all, the attack on Pearl Harbor was still weeks away. Reuben James wasn’t even the first to clash […]