Balch, John Henry

Date of birth:
January 2nd, 1896 (Edgerton/Kansas, United States)
Date of death:
October 15th, 1980
Buried on:
Riverside National Cemetery
Plot: 2. Grave: 1925.
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Commander Balch distinguished himself during WW1 and was decorated many medals for bravery. He also served during the Second World War.

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Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Pharmacist's Mate First Class
Unit:
6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces
Awarded on:
September 1918
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in action at Vierzy, on 19 July 1918. Balch unhesitatingly and fearlessly exposed himself to terrific machinegun and high-explosive fire to succor the wounded as they fell in the attack, leaving his dressing station voluntarily and keeping up the work all day and late into the night unceasingly for 16 hours. Also in the action at Somme-Py on 5 October 1918, he exhibited exceptional bravery in establishing an advanced dressing station under heavy shellfire.
Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Pharmacist's Mate First Class
Unit:
6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces
Awarded on:
1918
Silver Citation Star
Pharmacist's Mate First Class Balch distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving as a Corpsman attached to the Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action at Bois de Belleau, France. He was conspicuous for his coolness and the value of his work under shell fire, evacuating wounded men at the risk of his life, during our attack upon the enemy on the night of 6 June 1918.
2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Order No. 40
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Pharmacist's Mate First Class
Unit:
6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces
Awarded on:
1918
Silver Citation Star
Pharmacist's Mate First Class Balch distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving as a Corpsman attached to the Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action at Bois de Belleau, France. He was conspicuous for his coolness and the value of his work under shell fire, evacuating wounded men at the risk of his life, during our attack upon the enemy on the night of 6 June 1918.
2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Order No. 40
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Pharmacist's Mate First Class
Unit:
Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces6th Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces
In action near Somme-Py, France, 5 October 1918. Pharmacist's Mate First Class Balch displayed extraordinary heroism and bravery in using the best judgment in establishing an advanced aid station during the most intense shell fire, thereby enabling him and his fellow Corpsmen to take better care of the wounded and saving many of their lives
2d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Order No. 88
Silver Citation Star
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John H. Balch, Pharmacist's Mate, U.S. Navy, for repeated acts of extraordinary heroism in action in the Bois-de-Belleau, France, June 6 - 8, 1918, near Vierzy, France, July 19, 1918; and near St. Etienne-aux-Arnes, France, October 5, 1918. During the attack in the Bois-de-Belleau, Pharmacist's Mate Balch displayed conspicuous coolness under shell fire in evacuating wounded men. During the action near Vierzy, he worked unceasingly for sixteen hours, giving assistance to the wounded on a field torn by high explosive shells and covered by direct machine-gun fire. Near St. Etienne-aux-Arnes, he again gave proof of excellent judgment and courage in establishing an advance dressing station under violent shell and machine-gun fire, thereby saving many lives which would otherwise have been lost.
War Department, General Orders 70
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
With 3 Silver Citation Stars
World War I Victory Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
2nd award: Gold star
Purple Heart

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