Tag Archives: Balikpapan raid 1942

Remembering the 1st U.S. Navy Sea Battle Since the SpanAm War at 80

24 January 1942 0305 USS John D. Ford raid Balikpapan by DALE BYHRE (NHHC collection)

A great read by John J. Domagalski at this month’s Naval History Magazine detailing the little-known raid by DESDIV 59 against Japanese-held Balikpapan, some 80 years ago this month.

“The U.S. Navy’s first sea battle of the Pacific war, the Balikpapan raid offered much-welcomed proof that the Japanese could be thwarted…”

Commander Paul Talbot likely felt a heavy weight of responsibility resting on his shoulders as he sat in the command chair on the bridge of the destroyer USS John D. Ford (DD-228) during the late hours of 23 January 1942. He was about to lead the U.S. Navy into its first sea battle since the Spanish-American War of 1898. Talbot was in command of Destroyer Division 59, composed of his flagship and three other destroyers—the Pope (DD-225), Parrott (DD-218), and Paul Jones (DD-230). The force was moving through the night to attack a group of Japanese ships off Balikpapan, Borneo, in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia).

More here.