Balch, George, Jr., RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1882-1883, South Pacific Squadron (1866 - 1872)
Service Years
1837 - 1883
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Balch, George, Jr., RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Shelbyville, Tennessee
Last Address
He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetary.

Date of Passing
Apr 16, 1908
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)Historical Sailors
  1865, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) - Assoc. Page
  1883, Historical Sailors [Verified]

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rear Admiral George B. Balch

George Beall Balch (8 January 1821 – 18 April 1908) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War.

Born in Shelbyville, Tennessee, Balch was appointed Acting Midshipman in 1837 and was assigned to the sloop "Cyane," of the Pacific squadron. He served in the Mexican War and was executive officer of Plymouth during Commodore Matthew 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 at Raleigh, North Carolina.
Other Comments:

Rear Admiral George B. Balch, USN, (1821-1908)  George Beale Balch was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on 3 January 1821. Appointed as a U.S. Navy Midshipman from the state of Alabama in late 1837, his assignments during the next dozen years included several ships, some of them serving with the African and Mediterranean Squadrons. He also took part in combat operations along the Mexican east coast during 1846-1847 and had two periods of duty in Washington, D.C., the last at the Naval Observatory. 

Balch was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in August 1850. In 1851-1855 he was an officer on the sloop of war Plymouth in the Far East. In April 1854, during that tour, he was wounded in action at Shanghai, China. After briefly serving in the Great Lakes' gunboat Michigan in 1855, Lieutenant Balch was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. for nearly two years. He went back to sea in Plymouth in 1857, when she was part of the Home Squadron, transferring to the sloop of war Jamestown later in the year. From late 1858 until October 1860 he served in the sloop of war St. Mary's on the Pacific Squadron. 

As the political crisis of 1860-1861 developed into Civil War, Lieutenant Balch was ashore, at the Naval Academy and the Naval Observatory. From mid-1861 to mid-1862 he was commanding officer of the steam sloop Pocahontas, an active blockader along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, and received promotion to the rank of Commander during this time. He spent most of the rest of the Civil War in command of USS Pawnee, which was also employed along the Confederacy's south Atlantic coast. 

While back at the Washington Navy Yard in 1865-1868, Balch was promoted to Captain. He commanded USS Contoocook (renamed Albany 1n 1869) during 1868-1870, then returned to the Nation's Capital for several assignments during the 1870s and in mid-decade was Governor of the Naval Asylum, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After attaining the rank of Rear Admiral in June 1878, Balch was Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Maryland (1879-1881), then commanded the Pacific Station until retired from active duty in January 1883. Rear Admiral George B. Balch died at Raleigh, North Carolina, on 16 April 1908. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetary. 

The Navy has named two destroyers in honor of Rear Admiral George B. Balch: USS Balch (Destroyer # 50, later DD-50), 1914-1935; and USS Balch (DD-363), 1936-1946. 

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyNaval Observatory, CNO - OPNAVUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1841-1842, African Squadron
  1844-1845, Mediterranean Squadron
  1849-1850, Naval Observatory, CNO - OPNAV
  1851-1855, USS Plymouth (1844) - (Sloop of War)
  1854-1855, USS Michigan (1843)
  1855-1857, Det Navy Yard Washington, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC)
  1857-1858, USS Plymouth (1844) - (Sloop of War)
  1858-1858, USS JAMESTOWN (Sloop-of-war)
  1858-1860, USS St. Mary's (1844)
  1858-1860, South Pacific Squadron (1866 - 1872)
  1860-1860, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1861-1861, Naval Observatory, CNO - OPNAV
  1861-1862, USS POCAHONTAS (Screw Steamer)
  1863-1865, USS Pawnee (1859)
  1865-1868, Det Navy Yard Washington, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC)
  1868-1870, USS Contoocook (1864)
  1875-1878, Naval Asylum, Philadelphia
  1878-1881, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1882-1883, South Pacific Squadron (1866 - 1872)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1846-1847 Mexican-American War
  1846-1846 Mexican-American War/Capture of Monterey
  1846-1846 Mexican-American War/Capture of San Diego
  1861-1865 Civil War/Blockade of Charleston Harbor3
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1833-1837, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Loyal Legion Vignettes1
  Bio from MOLLUS
  Apr 16, 1908, Rear Admiral George B. Balch, USN, (1821-1908)2
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