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    Balikpapan East Kalimantan Province | Borneo Indonesia

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USN June 10, 1945

Location
Lat 1° 16' 60S Long 116° 49' 60E Balikpapan is located on the southeast coast of Borneo. To the east is Manggar and Sepiinggang.

Wartime History
Prewar, oil fields and an oil refinery were built at this location. During the middle of December 1941, USN Patrol Wing 10 briefly operated from Balikpapan after retreating from Cavite. On January 22, 1942 occupied by the Japanese for the oil fields and refinery.

Aside from two B-17 bombing raids on January 29 and February 3, 1942 the Japanese operated the harbor and oil refinery with impunity until August 14, 1943 when nine B-24 from the 380th Bomb Group bombed the harbor and refinery. Follow up raids on August 15 and 17 also hit the target, temporarily shutting down the target and destroyed fuel stocks.

Allied missions against Balikpapan
February 3, 1942 - July 11, 1945

On July 1, the Australian Army 7th Division, composed of the 18th, 21st and 25th Infantry Brigades, with support troops, made an amphibious landing, codenamed Operation Oboe Two a few miles north of Balikpapan.

Roc Nicholas adds:
"My father was in the Navy assigned to a barge called a Yard Repair (YR). He said he had to keep some refrigerators running on the island of Balikpapan. He also told me that there was Japanese bank there. After the take over of the island he and his friend stopped a passing tank and asked the sergeant if he would do them a favor a blow a hole thru the door of the bank, he said sure why not. So he turned the turret around and blew a hole thru the door, wall and back wall of the bank he said the round went skipping across the water. After thanking the sergeant they went into the bank and found Japanese script (funny money) lots of it. He said there was no where to spend it. So he kept a lot of it and handed it out to his friends he said he thinks he still might have some laying around. He will let us know if he finds it. He also said that the locals would float old sunken boats and barges and clean the engines out crank them up then make houses out of them. He went tiger hunting on a few of them up river. He then was reassigned to another PT boat and finished out the war in the Philippines."

Balikpapan Harbor
Located off Balikpapan. PB4Y's of Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 launched two bat glide bombs against enemy shipping in Balikpapan Harbor. This was the first combat use of the only automatic homing bomb to be used in World War II.

Kunikawa Maru
Sunk Balikpapan Harbor at No. 5 berth during a bombing raid

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Last Updated
September 27, 2017

 

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