Desolate plantations, Balikpapan

Desolate plantations, Balikpapan
Donald Friend
Desolate plantations, Balikpapan

oil on canvas
46.4 x 61.3cm

Friend described the scenes he saw at Balikpapan:

The pre-landing bombardment & strafing wrought such havoc, that for miles on either side of the town there was hardly a bush or tree left living, and not one building that was not a ruin. Where before there had been thriving coconut plantations, blackened stalks of palms, beheaded, stood among acres of charred ground … Along the silhouette of the hills twisted & burned oil reservoirs, whose metal had been warped into fantastic shapes & burned to strange colours by the heat. Among these ruins the army & the airforce lived.