From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Balao is the name of any of several halfbeaks.

(SS-285: dp. 1628; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 18'10"; s. 20.2 k.; cpl. 88; a. 1 5", 10 21" TT., cl. Balao)

Balao (SS-285) was launched 27 October 1942 by Portsmouth Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. Theodore C. Aylward, wife of Lieutenant Commander Aylward, commissioned 4 February 1943, Lieutenant Commander R. H. Crane in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Balao's war operations span a period from 25 July 1943 until 27 August 1945. During this period she completed ten war patrols. She is credited with having sunk seven Japanese ships totalling 32,108 tons, in addition to sinking by gunfire 1100 tons of miscellaneous enemy small craft

Balao arrived at Staten Island, N. Y., 27 September 1946 and on 20 August 1948 went out of commission in reserve at New London.

On 4 March 1952 Balao was recommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. Since that time she has been based at Key West, Fla., and has operated as a unit of Submarine Division 121, engaging in various type exercises, fleet maneuvers, and submarine warfare training.

Balao received nine battle stars for her World War II service.