January 24, 1942
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology
SATURDAY, 24 JANUARY 1942
CENTRAL PACIFIC (Hawaiian Air Force): Lost on a patrol is P-40B 41-13297 (KIA).
RAAF: Ditched is Hudson "Tit Willow" A16-106 crew later rescued.
USN: The first surface action by the U.S. Navy since the Spanish-American War. During the Battle of Balikpapan in the early morning escorting Japanese destroyers were searching for a Dutch submarine leaving their transports unguarded. Meanwhile at at 3:16am four U. S. Navy (USN) destroyers from Destroyer Division 59 (DesDiv 59) including USS Paul Jones (DD-230), USS Parrott (DD-218), USS Pope (DD-225) and USS John D. Ford (DD-228) attack the Japanese transports with gunfire and torpedoes. Although many of the Mark 15 torpedoes they released ran too deep, the managed to sink Kuretake Maru, Nana Maru, Sumanoura Maru, Tatsukami Maru and Patrol Boat P-37 plus damage two other transports. During the attack, Ford was damaged by gunfire before withdrawing at 4:00am.