The Remarkable Story of the Nation’s Youngest Decorated War Hero

A Heroic Journey Begins

The story of Calvin Graham, the nation’s youngest decorated war hero, is one of extraordinary courage and determination. At just 12 years old, Calvin lied about his age to enlist in the United States Navy during World War II. Eager to serve his country and follow in the footsteps of his older brothers, Calvin embarked on a journey that would forever change his life.

Historyen // Serdar Muslu

Despite his young age and diminutive stature, Calvin was determined to prove himself as a capable and courageous sailor. Assigned to the USS South Dakota, a battleship in the Pacific theater, Calvin quickly adapted to life at sea and embraced his role as a gunner’s mate.

Acts of Valor and Sacrifice

During his time aboard the USS South Dakota, Calvin demonstrated remarkable bravery and selflessness in the face of enemy fire. In one harrowing incident, he risked his own life to rescue fellow sailors trapped in a burning compartment after a Japanese kamikaze attack.

Despite sustaining serious injuries during the rescue mission, including shrapnel wounds and burns, Calvin refused medical treatment until all of his injured shipmates had been evacuated to safety. His courageous actions saved the lives of several crew members and earned him the admiration and respect of his fellow sailors.

Recognition and Legacy

Calvin’s acts of valor did not go unnoticed, and he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his extraordinary bravery and sacrifice. However, his journey as a war hero was fraught with challenges and adversity. Upon returning home from the war, Calvin faced discrimination and disbelief due to his young age and the circumstances surrounding his enlistment.

Historyen // Serdar Muslu

Despite the challenges he faced, Calvin remained proud of his service and dedicated his life to advocating for veterans’ rights and recognition. His story serves as a powerful reminder of the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served during World War II, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of Americans to honor the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes.

30+ Haunting Images of Abandoned Places

Abandoned Places Around the World

Prepare to embark on a chilling journey through these forgotten places of the world. From desolate ghost towns to abandoned amusement parks, each location offers a glimpse into an era long gone and tells a tale shrouded in mystery and melancholy. Get ready for goosebumps as we uncover the strange allure of these captivating abandoned sites.

I.M. Cooling Tower, Belgium

If you’ve ever wanted to stand underneath the shadow of a massive structure, complete with mystery and eeriness in the air, the I.M. Cooling Tower in Belgium is the perfect place to be. Once a vital part of a power plant, this place now stands as an abandoned industrial relic, its cavernous interior a maze of haunting echoes.

I.M. Cooling Tower, Belgium

Over the years, nature has slowly reclaimed the outer edges of the tower, but it hasn’t taken away from the imposing quality of the structure. However, the passage of time has transformed this industrial marvel into a ghostly place. Graffiti now adorns its walls, belaying a stark contrast to the tower’s original purpose.

Kolmanskop, Namibia

German settlers in the early 1900s stumbled upon a stretch of land in Namibia rich in diamonds, leading them all to converge there in a frenzied rush. They transformed the barren land into a bustling town, complete with lavish mansions, a grand theater, and many more amenities.

Kolmanskop, Namibia

However, the diamond boom was short-lived, and soon Kolmanskop’s fortune declined, leading the settlers to abandon the place. By the 1950s, the desert sands began to reclaim the town, engulfing both the homes and the dreams of the people.

102-Year-Old Floating Forest in Australia

In the waters of Homebush Bay in Sydney lies a sight that will draw you forward – the hull of the SS Ayrfield. This large steamship was made to be used for dismantling but was abandoned when the operations shut down.

102-Year-Old Floating Forest in Australia

Left to the elements, the ship, along with many others, slowly began to become one with nature as the vines started creeping up the walls. Over the years, the ship became covered in lush greenery, transforming the decaying ship into a vibrant and beautiful floating forest.

The Last House on Holland Island, U.S.A.

Holland Island was once a bustling colony in the Chesapeake Bay but now remains a memory of a once-thriving community. Over the years during inhabitation, the island slowly started being covered in mud and silt. Soon, the residents faced the bitter truth – there was simply no room left to live.

The Last House on Holland Island, U.S.A.

This forlorn building, which was the last structure standing on Holland Island, met its final collapse in 2010, succumbing to the might of nature. But, at least it got its 15 minutes of fame as the last house standing, right?

Nara Dreamland, Japan

Nara Dreamland opened its gates in 1961, promising visitors a fairytale experience, transporting kids and adults to a magical realm. But not all fairytales have a happy ending, and Nara Dreamland’s dreams were cut short when the park was eventually closed down in 2006.

Nara Dreamland, Japan

Not all is lost at the abandoned place, though. The eerie yet magical sight of the empty dreamland draws many people looking to capture a glimpse of the place. However, security guards still roam the grounds sometimes, finding those unlucky enough to be caught red-handed.

Uninhabited Island in Southwest Florida, U.S.A.

Off the coast of Florida’s Cape Romano is a cluster of small, dome-shaped structures that were made to be the summer homes of oil magnate Bob Lee. Built in 1981, these unique homes exuded a futuristic charm and became a much talked-about place.

Uninhabited Island in Southwest Florida, U.S.A.

However, the passage of time and the relentless forces of nature have taken their toll, leaving these once-majestic domes to face disrepair. As waves try to push their might onto the foundations of these structures, their future becomes more and more uncertain.

Abandoned Mill, Italy

Hidden amidst the enchanting beauty of Sorrento, Italy, lies an abandoned mill that once stood at the heart of the Valley of the Mills.

Abandoned Mill, Italy

In its prime, this mill was a bustling hub of activity, grinding wheat and working in harmony with a nearby sawmill. However, the construction of Tasso Square altered the landscape, leading to its shutdown. The mill soon fell victim to nature, and today, the structure stands entwined with green tendrils and moss-covered walls.

Michigan Central Station, Detroit

Michigan Central Station was erected in 1913 with the ambitious vision of becoming a bustling transportation hub, complete with outstanding architecture and a glorious appearance. Sadly, as the city’s transportation needs evolved, the once-vibrant station fell into a gradual decline, eventually closing its doors in 1988.

Michigan Central Station, Detroit

In a twist of fate, though, the building found a new lease on life on people’s screens. The abandoned station seems to have become a favorite of rapper Eminem, appearing in both his 8 Mile film and the “Beautiful” music video.

Mar Sem Fim Yacht, Antarctica

The Mar Sem Fim met its demise near Ardley Cove in Antarctica. Originally taken there by a Brazilian crew for a documentary, the yacht faced fierce winds and stormy seas, compelling the crew to abandon it.

Mar Sem Fim Yacht, Antarctica

The ship eventually sank into the water due to freezing waters and an ice-cracked hull. The Mar Sem Fim has since been salvaged, but its legacy endures as a warning, telling everybody who hears it that the fascination of Antarctica comes with danger and deep beauty.

The New Bedford Orpheum, Massachusetts

This vibrant and enchanting theater closed down in 1959 following a decline in the number of theatergoers and a boom in modern movie theaters.

The New Bedford Orpheum, Massachusetts

The building promises to once again resonate with the echoes of laughter, applause, and artistic endeavors, thanks to the efforts of some people. A non-profit has since taken over the place and is on a mission to raise funds and restore this historic gem to its former glory.

Abandoned Train Station, Georgia

A deserted train station lies in the center of Abkhazia, Georgia, and is the perfect place for somebody to shoot the next big horror thriller. This station, which was once bustling with travelers and dreams, is now frozen in time and evokes a melancholy beauty that draws both travelers and Instagram users in.

Abandoned Train Station, Georgia

With vines crawling through shattered windows and graffiti art adorning the dilapidated walls, you’d think you’re on a real-life movie set!

Wooden Houses, Russia

Venturing deep into the Russian forests, you’ll stumble upon a surreal sight – abandoned wooden houses that seem like they were plucked right out of a fairy tale. Don’t be surprised if you half-expect to see Mr. Tumnus of Narnia as your neighbor in this hideaway!

Wooden Houses, Russia

These intricately decorated dwellings possess a unique charm, untouched by the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Their location, situated in isolation in the dense forests, has shielded them from the harsh realities of time, preserving their beauty for a long time.

Underwater City, China

Discover Shicheng, the real-life Atlantis of China! Trapped beneath the depths for over a millennium, this incredible underwater city showcases a history that dates back 1,341 years. Located in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, the Lion City was submerged in 1959.

Underwater City, China

The water works like magic, protecting it from wind and rain erosion, keeping it in surprisingly good shape all these years. So, if you ever dreamt of exploring an ancient underwater civilization, pack your scuba gear and dive into the time capsule that is Shicheng!

City Hall Subway Stop, New York

Hidden beneath the bustling streets of New York City lies a forgotten gem – the abandoned City Hall subway stop. This exquisitely designed metro station, tucked underneath City Hall, received meticulous attention to detail due to its prestigious location. However, its fate was sealed by nearby stations siphoning away its potential traffic.

City Hall Subway Stop, New York

Its curved layout proved incompatible with the newer, longer trains, rendering it unsafe for public use, leading to its closure in 1945. Lucky adventurers, though, can still catch a glimpse of its allure through occasional exclusive tours.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island, Japan, is a place of many names and haunting tales. Known as Battleship Island due to its distinct shape, and Ghost Island for its eerie ambiance, this enigmatic isle tells a story that spans over a century.

Hashima Island, Japan

From the late 1800s to the late 1900s, Hashima Island was a bustling hub, housing a thriving population drawn by the access it granted to undersea coal mines. However, as Japan shifted to petroleum, and coal lost its shine, the mines closed their doors one by one, leaving Hashima Island deserted.

San Zhi, Taiwan

San Zhi, Taiwan, is a tale of ambition and lost dreams. Originally designed as a vacation destination, these alien-looking houses were a testament to innovative and futuristic designs.

San Zhi, Taiwan

However, despite the grand ambitions, financial troubles plagued the project, forcing its closure in 1980, shortly after construction. As the years passed, these otherworldly structures faced an unfortunate fate, and in 2010, they were razed to the ground.

Bodie, California

Bodie, California, a once-thriving gold mining town, now stands as a mesmerizing time capsule frozen in time. During the 1870s and 1880s, this bustling town buzzed with the hopes and dreams of 10,000 people, drawn by the allure of precious gold hidden in the surrounding hills.

Bodie, California

Today, Bodie’s legacy is preserved as a State Historic Park. Some parts of the town have been meticulously preserved, giving visitors a rare and authentic glimpse into the past.

Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia

The enigmatic Haludovo Palace Hotel on the island of Kirk, Croatia, seamlessly blends the past and the future. Built in 1971, its design is futuristic with its modular shapes, but the passage of time has shrouded the place in an air of decay.

Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia

During its heyday, Haludovo welcomed esteemed guests, but the turbulent times of the 1990s led to the hotel’s closure in 2001. The once-vibrant casinos, saunas, and tennis courts now lie in disrepair, but the skeletal remnants of the hotel still stand as haunting testaments to its glamorous past.

Fordlândia, Brazil

In the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a strange and fascinating chapter unfolds in Fordlândia, Brazil. In the 1920s, the visionary Henry Ford dreamed of creating a rubber plantation in this lush wilderness.

Fordlândia, Brazil

He secured a vast tract of land in Brazil and built a sprawling micro-city brimming with grand ambitions, complete with an array of amenities. However, reality had other plans, and some harsh conditions led to the downfall of Fordlândia, which now stands abandoned.

Houtouwan, China

In the secluded realms of Shengshan Island, China, lies the captivating ghost village of Houtouwan. Once a thriving fishing community, this picturesque hamlet has remained uninhabited for several decades, yet its ghostly charm is nothing short of breathtaking.

Houtouwan, China

Though most of the village’s original residents sought new paths inland in the early 1990s, a few souls still call this island home, offering a warm welcome to curious tourists and photographers.

Great Train Graveyard, Bolivia

In the vast expanse of Bolivia’s Uyuni region, where the famous salt flats and red lakes take center stage, lies a hauntingly unique attraction—the Great Train Graveyard.

Great Train Graveyard, Bolivia

Once envisioned as an ambitious expansion of Uyuni’s transportation network in the early 19th century, the project faced challenges and was eventually abandoned. Today, the Great Train Graveyard is a mesmerizing sight, where rusted and weathered locomotives stand stark against the barren desert landscape.

Tianducheng, China

Welcome to Tianducheng, China, a place that looks like Paris right out of the Upside Down. This ambitious yet failed real estate development emerged in 2007, just 40 minutes away from Hangzhou. Complete with its own Champs-Elysées and a towering 300-foot Eiffel Tower, this mini replica of France’s capital city was meant to enchant residents and visitors alike.

Tianducheng, China

However, China’s attempt to recreate the romantic allure of the City of Light took an unexpected turn, leaving Tianducheng with a haunting and eerie vibe.

Ponyhenge, Massachusetts

Located about 14 miles west of Boston, Ponyhenge is a surreal collection of plastic ponies and rocking horses arranged in circles and rows, creating a strangely enchanting and slightly nightmarish sight. The first ponies appeared mysteriously around 2010, and since then, the collection has grown exponentially, adding to the allure of this peculiar field.

Ponyhenge, Massachusetts

Questions abound about the origin of the first pony and who meticulously organized this playful assembly. The answers to these enigmas elude even the most curious minds, for Ponyhenge keeps its secrets well-guarded.

Kennecott, Alaska

Once a self-contained mining town boasting a skating rink, tennis court, and dairy, most of its buildings now stand abandoned for about six decades. Despite some being beyond repair, they retain a striking charm.

Kennecott, Alaska

In 1998, the National Park Service acquired many structures and lands, and today, visitors can explore the area’s history at the open visitor center from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Additionally, the recreation hall offers rental options for special events.

Lapalice Castle, Poland

Łapalice Castle, Poland, stands as a formidable structure reminiscent of legendary spooky castles found in Eastern Europe. However, this imposing edifice holds a peculiar tale—it was built in 1979 and isn’t even technically a castle. Originally envisioned as a studio for artist Piotr Kazimierczak, it inexplicably boasted features like a swimming pool, ballroom, ramparts, and 12 towers.

Lapalice Castle, Poland

Regrettably, Kazimierczak’s vision was never realized; the project remained unfinished due to financial constraints and a lack of necessary permits for the land.

Kangbashi, China

This ambitious project, known as Kangbashi New Area, aimed to create a sprawling 130-square-mile residential zone to accommodate one million residents.

Kangbashi, China

Construction commenced in 2003, envisioning a city-within-a-city straight out of a sci-fi movie. However, filling the extravagant, super-expensive apartment buildings proved challenging for city officials, exacerbated by the remote desert location. The result? Kangbashi became a surreal blend of futuristic architecture and ghostly abandonment.

Tskaltubo, Georgia

Tskaltubo was once a lavish spa town catering to the elite. Its glory days were marked by an array of opulent bathhouses and luxurious hotels, drawing people from far and wide for a rejuvenating retreat.

Tskaltubo, Georgia

However, the town soon fell into disarray, leaving behind a place that could be perfect for the monsters of Spirited Away. Yet, amid its faded splendor, the spirit of the past remains palpable, attracting urban explorers and photographers eager to capture its haunting beauty.

Lake Reschen Bell Tower, Italy

In the mesmerizing landscape of South Tyrol, Italy, lies a haunting reminder of a submerged past—the Lake Reschen bell tower. Amidst the serene expanse of the lake stands a solitary 14th-century bell tower, reminiscent of a Rapunzel tower meeting the intrigue of the Quarter Quell.

Lake Reschen Bell Tower, Italy

During winter, when the lake freezes over, visitors have a unique opportunity to walk right up to the bell tower, adding an extra layer of enchantment to this remarkable site.

Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus

Nicosia International Airport in Cyprus was once filled with life and success back at its inauguration in 1930. For decades, it served as a bustling hub, welcoming travelers from around the world. However, the airport’s fortunes took a tragic turn in 1974 when it was abruptly abandoned.

Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus

Now, for almost half a century, the once-thriving tarmac has been reclaimed by nature’s relentless embrace. The gleaming airplanes have weathered into rust, and the check-in counters and boarding areas have become shrouded in thick layers of dust.

Six Flags (Previously Jazzland), New Orleans

Once a vibrant amusement park known as Jazzland, Six Flags in New Orleans thrived with excitement and joy. However, in 2005, the park suffered devastation which it never recovered from.

Six Flags (Previously Jazzland), New Orleans

Despite attempts to revive the park, the financial challenges proved insurmountable, leading to its abandonment. Now, the once-thrilling roller coasters and attractions stand eerily still, overtaken by nature’s grip.

Anping Tree House, Taiwan

Hidden within Tainan City, Taiwan, the Anping Tree House unveils a mesmerizing fusion of history and nature. Once a British-owned merchant warehouse, this captivating complex has been reclaimed by nature, offering a visual spectacle that delights the senses.

Anping Tree House, Taiwan

After the warehouse was abandoned in the 19th century, a determined banyan tree thrust its roots through the brick walls and concrete floors, weaving a mesmerizing tapestry of foliage within the structure. The result? A whimsical “treehouse” that evokes the charm of a cousin to Angkor Wat.

New York State Pavilion, Queens

The New York State Pavilion stands as a fascinating relic from two World’s Fairs that graced the park in 1939 and 1964. While many of the fair’s buildings and pavilions were eventually razed, a handful still endure, capturing the imagination of those who catch a glimpse of them from their plane windows during a LaGuardia landing.

New York State Pavilion, Queens

Among these enduring structures, the New York State Pavilion stands out with its peculiar UFO-shaped design and a trio of striking observation towers.

The Island of the Dolls, Mexico

The Island of the Dolls, or Isla de las Munecas, has garnered internet fame for an eerie reason. Amidst the lush foliage, hundreds of dolls and doll parts hang from trees and scatter the grass, creating a haunting spectacle.

The Island of the Dolls, Mexico

This peculiar island, with its decaying house and dangling dolls, has a chilling atmosphere that beckons the daring souls willing to venture there. Visitors can rent a boat and try to persuade the driver to navigate the waterways in order to witness the enigmatic island from a safe distance.

Varosha Beach Resort, Cyprus

Varosha Beach Resort in Cyprus once sparkled as a favored destination for stars like Brigitte Bardot. However, in 1974, the town faced a sudden and haunting fate—abandonment. Inhabitants were forced to evacuate hastily, leaving behind a surreal time capsule frozen in time.

Varosha Beach Resort, Cyprus

While the city of Famagusta experiences a meteoric rise in tourism, Varosha remains a haunting ghost town, untouched by the passing decades. Model cars sit idly in garages, and clothing still hangs in desolate shops, as a poignant reminder of the lives that were abruptly interrupted.

Griffith Park Zoo, California

Once envisioned as a premier destination in Los Angeles, the Griffith Park Zoo opened its gates in 1912 with high hopes. Despite expansions and a steady flow of tourists, the site eventually met its demise in 1966.

Griffith Park Zoo, California

The once-thriving habitat has given way to a unique picnic spot, where visitors can dine amidst the remnants of the zoo’s grand past and a haunting network of secret stairways and empty cages.

Al Madam, United Arab Emirates

Approximately 40 miles southeast of Dubai lies the beautiful village of Al Madam. This sand-buried ghost town exudes an enigmatic allure, evoking a sense of mystery and nostalgia.

Al Madam, United Arab Emirates

Believed to have been built in the 1970s and abandoned shortly after, Al Madam features two rows of houses, now partially swallowed by the encroaching dunes. As the sands of time sweep over this forsaken village, it acquires a haunted quality, creating an eerie atmosphere that captivates the imagination.

Villa Epecuén, Argentina

Villa Epecuén was once a bustling resort village in the 1920s, attracting vacationers from Buenos Aires who were seeking relaxation and healing in its lavish accommodations and the adjacent salt lake with rumored restorative powers. In its heyday, the town welcomed up to 5,000 guests, but an odd fate awaited it in 1985.

Villa Epecuén, Argentina

Villa Epecuén only entirely resurfaced in 2009, revealing a haunting, bleached landscape. The once vibrant village was transformed into a tableau of bare trees and dilapidated buildings, all covered in a layer of white salt.

Deception Island, Antarctica

In the icy vastness of Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands lies a place of captivating allure and ghostly beauty—Deception Island. This remote and mysterious tourist destination boasts a deserted whaling and research station, which now serves as an echo of its vibrant past.

Deception Island, Antarctica

Once a bustling hub of activity, the whaling station now stands frozen in time, bearing witness to multiple periods of abandonment between 1931 and 1969. Rusting boilers and beached boats serve as haunting reminders of the island’s history. You can explore the deserted site with a cruise, even getting to encounter the charming presence of chinstrap penguins.

Craco, Italy

Perched atop a hill in Italy, this ancient town endured its fair share of challenges over the centuries, experiencing moments of triumph and struggle that have shaped its character.

Craco, Italy

Today, the original city of Craco stands in a state of slow decay, but its weathered charm draws visitors from far and wide. From May to October, the town comes alive with annual festivals, adding a vibrant touch to its ancient streets, while intrepid travelers can relish in the allure of the city’s ruins and soak in the breathtaking cliffside views during the off-season.

Crystal Palace Subway, London

Beneath the bustling streets of south London lies a hidden gem that time seems to have forgotten—the Crystal Palace subway. Originally built to link the Crystal Palace High-Level Station with the illustrious Crystal Palace, this subway station exudes a timeless allure.

Crystal Palace Subway, London

Tours of this enchanting space occur only a few times a year, offering fortunate explorers a glimpse into London’s historical and artistic treasures.

Gouqi Island, China

Gouqi Island, China, harbors an extraordinary sight—a forgotten fishing village that time and nature have reclaimed with an enchanting touch. Nestled on the Yangtze River, this small island off the coast of Shanghai bears witness to a tale of abandonment and nature’s resilient embrace.

Gouqi Island, China

As you venture through the once-thriving village, you’ll be greeted by a captivating scene—buildings entwined with lush greenery and ivy, seemingly consumed by the surrounding vegetation. Time has transformed this forgotten settlement into a mesmerizing fusion of human history and nature’s artistic handiwork.

Winchester Mystery House, California

This Victorian mansion is a puzzling labyrinth, boasting a plethora of dead-ends, secret passageways, and staircases leading to nowhere.

Winchester Mystery House, California

With an unyielding decree to never halt construction, the enigmatic Sarah Winchester oversaw the mansion’s expansion for 38 years. The result is a seven-story masterpiece of architectural oddities that has captivated the imagination of visitors for generations, who love to navigate the 160 rooms to unravel the enigmatic world of the Winchester Mystery House.

Chee Guan Chiang House, Singapore

Chee Guan Chiang House in Singapore stands as a magnificent testament to art deco architecture. Designed by renowned Singaporean architect Ho Kwong Yew, this opulent house was built for the wealthy Chee Guan Chiang, the son of a prominent banking tycoon.

Chee Guan Chiang House, Singapore

Despite its grandeur, the mansion’s fate took a dramatic turn in the ’70s, embroiling it in a legal battle that led to its abandonment. Today, behind its stylish facade lies a fascinating sight—a thriving forest of shrubs and trees, with nature reclaiming its dominion over the once-glamorous residence.

Water Park in Vietnam

Hồ Thủy Tiên Water Park in Vietnam presents a haunting spectacle, as this place was once a vibrant hub of entertainment and marine life, and is now an abandoned and surreal landscape frozen in time. The lifeless amphitheater, the neglected water slides, and the decaying three-story dragon add to the eerie allure of this forsaken wonderland.

Water Park in Vietnam

Originally opened in 2004 with much fanfare, Hồ Thủy Tiên faced financial woes that led to its untimely closure within a few short years. The water park remains a surreal journey through a world suspended between the echoes of its vibrant past and the embrace of its untamed future.

Kuk Po, Hong Kong

Abandoned and frozen in time, this once-thriving community, with a population of around 1,000, was a haven of agricultural activity, with its inhabitants cultivating rice and tending to nearby fields. Now, the village stands quiet, its houses mere shells of their former selves, with only occasional vagrants haunting its crumbling interiors.

Kuk Po, Hong Kong

Reaching Kuk Po requires some effort, as it’s tucked away in an out-of-the-way location. After taking a bus to Luk Keng, a hike of a couple of hours will lead you to this ghostly village, inviting you to unravel its mysteries and immerse in its haunting beauty.