Navy Veteran Robert Balfour is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Robert Balfour, who served as a communications officer in the Pacific during World War II.

After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1940, Robert Balfour decided to join the Navy. When faced with the vision exam, Balfour copied and memorized the eye chart so that he could pass the exam. He became an ensign.

He spent his first four months of duty on an Landing Ship, Tank. Balfour traveled throughout Guantanamo Bay, the Canary Islands, New Zealand and Australia. In New Caledonia, Balfour worked under Adm. Bull Halsey as a communications officer.

Balfour served during the Philippines campaign with the Third Fleet from 1944 to 1945. He survived sailing through Typhoon Cobra and made it back safely to Hawaii. There, Halsey asked Balfour to stay on for the next operation and Balfour agreed. He set out on USS Louisville with Halsey. They made their way to Okinawa. One afternoon, Balfour transferred over to the USS Missouri. The same night, a kamikaze attack hit USS Louisville.

During the rest of the war, Balfour served aboard USS Missouri. After Japan surrendered, USS Missouri traveled to Tokyo where Balfour had the opportunity to explore the city. He said he was disappointed he did not cover the official surrender of Japan Sept. 2, 1945.

After the war, Balfour went back to Flint, Michigan to write columns for a variety of newspapers. Along with that, he wrote many magazine articles and a book. Eventually, he ended up working for President Dwight D. Eisenhower on his 1952 presidential campaign.

Balfour passed away Nov. 15, 2005.

We honor his service.

More of his story can be found at

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Annaleigh Cummings

Editor: Joseph Cardinal

Fact checker: Sierra Harbert

Graphic artist: Michelle Zischke

Share this story

Published on Nov. 22, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 85

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network November 23, 2020 at 9:39 am

    We honor the service of Robert Balfour.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Stephen W. Pless, who served in the Vietnam War and is the only Marine aviator to be awarded a Medal of Honor during the war.

  • Alan Shepard served in the Navy aboard a destroyer and as a test pilot. He was a member of the NASA Mercury Seven and became the first American to travel into space.

  • Army Veteran Charles W. Whittlesey is a Medal of Honor Recipient and is today’s Veteran of the Day.