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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEDP

Displacement 2597 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 381' (oa) x 37' x 13' (Max)
Armament 8 x 5"/38AA (4x2), 8 x 1.1" AA (2x4), 8 x 21" tt.(2x4).
Machinery, 50,000 SHP; Bethlehem Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 37 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 194.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, Quincy May 16 1934.
Launched March 24 1936 and commissioned October 20 1936.
Decommissioned October 19 1945.
Stricken November 1 1945.
Fate Sold and broken up for scrap in 1946.

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Balch 42kGeorge Beall Balch was born in Shelbyville, Tenn., 3 January 1821 and was appointed acting midshipman on 30 December 1837. After serving in sloop Cyane during a cruise to the Mediterranean between 24 June 1838 and 16 May 1841, Balch saw duty in schooner Grampus and sloop Falmouth before attended the Naval School in Philadelphia, where he was promoted to passed midshipman on 29 June 1843. Eventually assigned to steamer Princeton, Midshipman Balch served in that warship during the war with Mexico. He participated in the abortive August 1846 assault on Alvarado, where strong currents in the river prevented the flotilla's boats from landing, and in the successful 9 March 1847 landing of General Winfield Scott's army at Vera Cruz. During the latter campaign, Balch served as acting master of captured schooner Falcon. Returning to Princeton, he accompanied the steamer on a two year cruise to the Mediterranean, sailing east on 17 August 1847 and returning to the Boston Navy Yard on 17 July 1849. He then saw service at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., where he was promoted to lieutenant on 16 August 1850. Balch then served as executive officer of sloop-of-war Plymouth, sailing to the Orient on 23 August 1851 for an extended cruise on the East Indies Station. While there, Plymouth joined Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan and, in company with side-wheel steamers Mississippi and Susquehanna and sloop-of-war Saratoga, entered Tokyo Bay on 8 July 1853 for trade negotiations with the Tokugawa Shogunate. The squadron departed on 17 July after presenting a letter from President Millard Fillmore to the Japanese asking for the opening of two ports to American trade and better treatment for shipwrecked sailors. The squadron spent the fall in Canton, Hong Kong and Shanghai, helping to protect American trade interests there (primarily tea and silk) following the continued spread of the Taiping rebellion in southern China. While most of Perry's squadron returned to Japan in February of 1854, where the Commodore eventually signed a limited trade agreement on 31 March 1854, Plymouth remained at Shanghai to help protect American-owned warehouses and other property ashore. In February, soon after the squadron's departure to Japan, Imperial Chinese troops began assaulting foreigners, sacking warehouses and exacting tolls on boats sailing up and down the Huangpu river. On 3 April, after two British citizens were accosted by sword-wielding soldiers, the commanders of the British ships Encounter and Grecian, as well as Commander Kelly from Plymouth, together resolved to drive off the Chinese troops, who had established fortified camps in the city. The next day, Balch led 60 sailors and marines and 30 sailors from American merchant ships against the left flank of the entrenchments, while a force of 150 British sailors and marines, and additional "Shanghai volunteers," attacked on the right. Supported by gunfire from two privately owned field pieces and a howitzer, the Allied force routed the Chinese defenders, who "fled in great disorder, leaving behind them a number of wounded and dead." Balch suffered wounds in the action, which also saw one sailor killed and two marines wounded. The sloop-of-war returned to Norfolk on 11 January 1855 before conducting a spring cruise off the east coast as a Naval Academy school ship. After an assignment to the Washington Navy Yard in 1855-57, Balch again went to sea in Plymouth to support a training cruise. He later served in Jamestown, joining that sloop in December 1857 for a cruise in the West Indies before he traveled to Mare Island, California, for service in sloop-of-war St. Mary's. After a short cruise off the west coast of Central America between August 1858 and February 1859, Balch returned to the east coast via Panama. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War April 1861, Balch was ordered to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he helped put frigate Sabine in commission on 30 August. The ship-rigged sailing ship joined the Atlantic blockading squadron on 9 September. Sabine helped rescue 500 men from the chartered troop transport Governor during a storm on 2 November 1861. Balch then assumed command of steamer Pocahontas, leading a flotilla of boats during the Tybee Island landings on 26 December before cruising off the Carolina coast, to keep a watchful eye for Confederate raiders and blockade runners. He was promoted to Commander on 16 July 1862. Given command of screw-sloop Pawnee at Philadelphia later that year, Cdr. Balch coordinated the towing of ironclad Pataspsco south to Port Royal, South Carolina, in February before joining the South Atlantic Squadron. There, the screw-sloop conducted coastal reconnaissance off the southern states, engaging shore batteries as required and watching for blockade runners. On 1 February and 18 June 1864, Pawnee assisted in the capture of Confederate steamers General Sumter and Hattie Brock respectively, seizing their valuable cargoes of cotton, turpentine, rosin and railroad iron. The warship also participated in the Stono River expedition in early July and Broad River expedition in November 1864. The following year, on 9 February 1865, Balch directed Pawnee up the Togoda Creek where, in company with side-wheel gunboat Sonoma and side-wheel steamer Daffodil, the warships destroyed three Confederate batteries near North Edisto, South Carolina. The ships then landed sailors and marines to occupy the town of Georgetown on 23 February 1865, clearing the way for Union ships to supply Major-General Tecumseh Sherman's Army operating in the area. Balch was commended to the Navy Department by Rear-Admiral John A. Dahlgren for his services during this operation. After Pawnee decommissioned at Portsmouth on 26 July 1865, Cdr. Balch received shore service at the Washington Navy Yard, where he was promoted to captain on 25 July 1866. He commanded flagship Albany in the North Atlantic Squadron between 1868 and early 1870. Capt. Balch then returned to the Washington Navy Yard for duty with the Bureau of Navigation, where he was promoted to commodore on 13 August 1872. He served as governor of the Naval Asylum, Philadelphia, between 1873-76 before his appointment to the Light House Board in 1877-78. After a term as a member of the Board of Examiners in 1878, during which time Capt. Balch was promoted to rear admiral on 5 June 1878, Balch undertook a two-year assignment as Superintendent of the Naval Academy between 1879 and 1881. Rear Admiral Balch then took command of the Pacific Station on 21 June 1881. That assignment lasted until he retired from the service in January 1883, initially taking up residence in Baltimore, Md., before eventually moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he died on 16 April 1908. Photo #: NH 67329, Rear Admiral George Beale Balch, USN (1821-1908), photographed circa 1879-1881, when he was Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Perkins Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Tony Cowart/Robert M. Cieri
Balch 28kUndated, location unknown.-
Balch 58kUndated Pre war image.Jesse P Mannix
Balch 82kUndated, US destroyers belonging to Task Force 16.7 head out of Kuluk Bay, Adak, for a patrol off Attu Island. Photo from "United States Destroyer Operations In World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. Thanks to Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine, who identified the three single-funnel destroyers and one twin-funnel destroyer, as being USS Hughes (DD-410), USS Mustin (DD-413), and Morris (DD-417), along with Balch (DD-363).Robert Hurst
Balch 133kThe USS Balch (DD 363) appears to be coming alongside of another ship with USS Aylwin (DD 355), USS Monaghan (DD 354), USS Farragut (DD 348) and another unidentified destroyer in San Diego circa 1936.Darryl Baker
Balch 107kUSS Balch (DD-363) off the Bethlehem Steel Company's Fore River Plant, Quincy, Massachusetts, 23 September 1936, probably during builder's trials. The ship's gun directors and 1.1" anti-aircraft machine guns have not yet been fitted. Note that Balch's bow numbers are painted close to the waterline. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Balch 105kUSS Balch (DD-363) underway, probably during trials in about September 1936. Her 1.1" anti-aircraft machineguns and main battery gun directors have not yet been installed. The hull numbers at her bow appear to have been retouched. Balch wore her bow numbers closer to the waterline at the time of her trials. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Balch 89kUSS Balch (DD-363) fitting out at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, on 13 October 1936, a week before she went into commission. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Balch 181kUSS Balch (DD-363) anchored in Hawaii during the 1937 Fleet Problem XVIII. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1997.277.071.016.Mike Green
Balch 342kNewspaper clipping dated May 3 1937 of President Roosevelt's time aboard the Moffett.Ron Reeves
Balch 93kUSS Balch (DD-363), USS Moffett (DD-362), USS Winslow (DD-359), and USS McDougal (DD-358) (listed from bottom to top) moored together at San Diego, California, March 1939. A harbor oiler is alongside Balch, and what appears to be a garbage lighter is astern of the four destroyers. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Fred Weiss
Balch 95kUSS Winslow (DD-359), USS Balch (DD-363) and USS Selfridge (DD-357) (listed from left to right) Moored together in San Diego Harbor, California, during the later 1930s. Courtesy of BMGC Ralph E. Turpin, USNR, 1963. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Balch 116kUSS Balch (DD-363) at anchor, circa the later 1930s Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Balch 94kUSS Fanning (DD-385) escorting USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the day the Doolittle Raid aircraft were launched, 18 April 1942. Photographed from USS Salt Lake City (CA-25). Destroyer in the background, headed toward the left, is USS Balch (DD-363), flagship of Destroyer Squadron Six. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Fred Weiss
Balch 137kUSS Balch (DD-363) is standing by at right as USS Yorktown (CV-5) is being abandoned by her crew after she was hit by two Japanese aerial torpedoes, at the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S.National Archives.Joe Radigan
Balch 78kPhoto #: 80-G-21694. Battle of Midway, Destroyers stand by to pick up survivors as USS Yorktown (CV-5) is abandoned during the afternoon of 4 June 1942, following Japanese torpedo plane attacks. Destroyers at left are (left to right): Benham (DD-397), Russell (DD-414), and Balch (DD-363). Destroyer at right is Anderson (DD-411). Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.Fabio Peña
Balch 92kUSS Balch (DD-363) off San Francisco, California, following overhaul, 30 August 1943 (USN Photo No 19-N-51207).Robert Hurst
Balch 104kUSS Balch (DD-363) Off San Francisco, California, following overhaul, 30 August 1943. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.Fred Weiss
Balch 88kUSS Balch (DD-363) at San Francisco, California, following overhaul, 30 August 1943. Circles mark recent alterations to the ship. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.Fred Weiss
Balch 72kUSS Balch (DD-363) underway on April 29, 1944. Antiaircraft defense has been improved with the elimination of No.3-5”/38 SP turret and the aft main gun director. In their place here is a quad 40mm Bofors, plus twin 40mm mounts abaft the bridge and single 20mm mounts forward and abreast the funnels. Source: Australian War Memorial, Photo No. 302548.Mike Green
Balch 185kSecNav Certificate of Recognition for the Doolittle Task Force Tokyo raid, May 15 1995.James D. Johnson, USS Gwin (DD433)

USS BALCH DD-363 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Thomas Calloway Latimore Jr.    Oct 20 1936 - Jul 1 1938
CDR Harry Raymond Thurber    Jul 1 1938 - Jul 15 1940
CDR Leonard Brynner Austin    Jul 15 1940 - Apr 25 1941
CDR Charles Joseph Rend    Apr 25 1941 - Apr 1 1942
LCDR Harold Herman Tiemroth    Apr 1 1942 - Sep 6 1943 (Later RADM)
CDR Harry Nelson Coffin    Sep 6 1943 - Oct 2 1944
CDR John Marcus Oseth    Oct 2 1944 - Oct 19 1945

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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