Capt. George Balfour, Royal Navy, commanded HMS Conqueror in the battle of The Saintes, 1782.
(DE 73: displacement 1,300 tons; length 306'; beam 36'9"; draft 10'9"; speed 24 knots; complement 200; armament 3 3-inch, 8 20mm., 1 depth charge projector (hedge hog.), 2 depth charge tracks, 4 depth charge projectors; class Buckley)
The destroyer escort DE 73 was laid down on 19 April 1943 at Hingham, Mass., by the Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard; named McAnn on 18 May 1943; reassigned to the United Kingdom under lend lease on 10 June 1943; and reclassified BDE 73. The assignment of the name McAnn, however, was canceled on 23 June 1943 and the name reassigned to DE 179. BDE 73 was launched on 10 July 1943, turned over to the British on 7 October 1943, and simultaneously commissioned by the Royal Navy as HMS Balfour (K.464).
During World War II, Balfour earned "battle honors" for service in the Atlantic, off Normandy, and in the English Channel. On 25 June 1944, Balfour teamed with HMS Affleck (K.462) in destroying U 1191, and she scored a solo "kill" less than a month later, when she sank U 672 on 18 July.
Balfour was returned to the U.S. Navy at the end of the war. She arrived at New York on 16 October 1945, and the transfer took place on 25 October 1945. Deemed “not essential” to the defense of the United States on 1 November 1945, Balfour was struck from the Navy list on 5 December 1945. The ship was sold for $1.00 to the State of New York for use by the New York Maritime Academy.
Robert J. Cressman
16 December 2005