USS Balch (DD-363)

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USS Balch (DD-363)
United States
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in 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
General characteristics
Class and type: Porter-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,850 tons
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

USS Balch (DD-363) was a Porter-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for Admiral George Beall Balch.

The second Balch was launched 24 March 1936 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts; sponsored by Miss Gertrude Balch, granddaughter of Admiral Balch; and commissioned 20 October 1936, Commander T. C. Latimore in command.

Service history[edit]

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[edit]

On 1 December 1941, Balch put to sea as a unit of Task Force 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 15 July 1944, Balch arrived at New York. Between 2 August 1944 and 23 May 1945, she completed five trans-Atlantic convoy escort crossings to various North African ports.

On 12 April 1945, Captain Alfred Lind took command and participated in Task Group 60.11 until 8 May 1945 (VE Day). During this time, they rescued 46 survivors from a torpedoed SS Belgium (14 April) 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.


Balch received six battle stars for her Pacific service during World War II.


  1. ^ Friedman, US Destroyers, An Illustrated Design History, p.404