and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Battle

Desolate plantations, Balikpapan

Donald Friend (1915-1989)
Desolate plantations, Balikpapan, Donald Friend, Australian War Memorial, ART22894

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.

Oil on canvas 46.4 x 61.3 cm
Painted in Sydney, 1946
Acquired under official war art scheme in 1946
Australian War Memorial

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