From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. I, pp. 86-87.
Born in Shelbyville, Tenn., 3 January 1821, George Beall Balch was appointed Acting Midshipman in 1837. He served in the Mexican War and was executive officer of Plymouth during Commodore M. C. Perry's expedition to Japan. During the Civil War he took part in many engagements. Rear Admiral Balch served as superintendent of the Naval Academy (1879-81) and for a short period commanded the Pacific Fleet. He retired in January 1883 and died 16 April 1908 at Raleigh, N. C.
(DD-50: dp. 1036; l. 305'3"; b. 31'2"; dr. 10'6"; s. 29.6 k.; cpl. 128; a. 4 4", 8 18" TT.; cl. Aylwin)
The first Balch (DD 50) was launched 21 December 1912 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Grace Balch, daughter of Admiral Balch; and commissioned 26 March 1914, Lieutenant Commander D. C. Hanrahan in command.
Balch served only a few months with the Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, before she was placed in reserve commission at New York Navy Yard 24 July 1914. Included, however, was service in Mexican waters (28 April-3 May). On 17 December 1914 she was placed in full com-
mission and rejoined the Atlantic Fleet. Prior to the entrance of the United States into World War I, she served on Neutrality Patrol. She rescued survivors of the British steamer Stephano (8 October 1916) which had been sunk by a German submarine off Newport, R. I.
When the United States entered the war Balch sailed for European waters, arriving at Queenstown, Ireland 17 November 1917. She was assigned to the Queenstown Force and carried out convoy escort duties until 16 November 1918 when she departed Queenstown for the United States. Balch arrived at Norfolk 1 January 1919 and was placed in ordinary.
She returned to duty with the Atlantic Destroyer Squadrons in the latter part of 1921 and cruised along the east coast until April 1922. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia 20 June 1922. Her name was dropped 1 November 1933 and she was scrapped in 1935.