USS Balch (DD-363)
USS Balch (DD-363)
|Builder:||Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts|
|Laid down:||16 May 1934|
|Launched:||24 March 1936|
|Commissioned:||20 October 1936|
|Decommissioned:||19 October 1945|
|Struck:||1 November 1945|
|Fate:||scrapped in 1946|
|Class & type:||Porter-class destroyer|
|Length:||381 ft 1 in (116.15 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 11 in (11.25 m)|
|Draught:||17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h)|
|Complement:||194 officers and enlisted|
The second Balch was launched 24 March 1936 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts; sponsored by Miss Gertrude Balch, granddaughter of Admiral Balch; and commissioned 20 October 1936, Commander T. C. Latimore in command.
After her commissioning, Balch operated for a period under the Chief of Naval Operations. She departed Newport, Rhode Island, for the Pacific in October 1937, and upon arrival at San Diego, California, she joined Destroyer Division 7, Battle Force. Thereafter as flagship of Destroyer squadron 12, and later of Destroyer Squadron 6, she participated in fleet training, cruises, and battle problems in the Pacific and Haitian-Caribbean area. After participating in Fleet Problem XXI at Pearl Harbor, Balch steamed to Mare Island Navy Yard where she underwent a yard period in the spring of 1940. Upon the completion of her yard period, she made six cruises alternately between the Hawaiian Islands and the west coast (August 1940-December 1941).
World War II
On 1 December 1941, Balch put to sea as a unit of TF 8, and remained with the Task Force after the Pearl Harbor attack. She cruised in the Pacific during the early months of the war, and participated in the bombardment of Tarawa Island, Marshall Islands (1 February 1942). Between February 1942 and June 1944, Balch performed widespread screening, patrolling, and fire support duties during the Wake Island raid (24 February 1942), the Doolittle Raid (18 April 1942), the decisive Battle of Midway (4–7 June), during which she rescued 545 survivors of Yorktown; Guadalcanal landings (7–30 August); Attu invasion (11 May-2 June 1943); Toem-Wakde-Sarmi landings (25–28 May 1944) and Biak Island invasion (28 May-18 June).
On April 12, 1945, Captain Alfred Lind took command and participated in Task Group 60.11 until the 8th of May 1945 (V Day). During this time, they rescued 46 survivors from a torpedoed SS Belgium (April 14th) and also anchored at Oran, Algeria, and passed thru the Straits of Gibraltar.
On 16 June 1945, she commenced her pre-inactivation overhaul at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was decommissioned 19 October 1945 and scrapped in 1946.
- Friedman, US Destroyers, An Illustrated Design History, p.404
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.