Warranted a midshipman on 24 February 1809 and still holding that rank, Edward J. Ballard served as fourth lieutenant in Chesapeake on 1 June 1813 when that U.S. frigate challenged the British man of war HMS Shannon outside Boston harbor. Most of Chesapeake's crew had been recently recruited, and most of her officers were newly assigned to the ship. As a result of this inexperience and of the crew's lack of training as a team, the Americans were quickly bested in the ensuing battle. During the engagement, a cannon shot took off Ballard's right leg close to his body, and he died shortly afterwards. On 2 June 1813, the day following the action, the Navy Department, which had not yet heard of the action promoted Ballard to lieutenant.
(Destroyer No. 267: displacement 1,215; length 314'4"; beam 31'8"; draft 9'10"; speed 35 knots; complement122; armament 4 4-inch, 1 3-inch, 12 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Clemson)
The second Ballard (Destroyer No. 267) was laid down on 3 June 1918 at Squantum, Mass., by Bethlehem Steel Corp.; launched on 7 December 1918; sponsored by Miss Eloise Ballard, daughter of J. Edward Ballard, a descendant of Midshipman Ballard; and commissioned on 5 June 1919, Lt. Cmdr. Francis M. Collier in command.
Between July 1919 and July 1920 Ballard , initially assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, uised to various ports in Europe and the Mediterranean. She returned to the United States in July 1920 and served for a time with the Atlantic Fleet. She then proceeded to the Pacific where she carried out type training and participated in fleet maneuvers until placed out of commission in reserve at San Diego on 17 June 1922.
On 25 June 1940, Ballard was placed in commission in ordinary and was towed to Union Yard of Bethlehem Steel Corp., San Francisco, Calif., for conversion to an auxiliary seaplane tender (reclassified AVD 10, 2 August 1940). She was placed in full commission on 2 January 1941 and reported to Commander Aircraft, Scouting Force, Pacific Fleet.
With the entrance of the U.S. into World War II, Ballard steamed to Pearl Harbor where she arrived 28 January l942. until November 1943 she was engaged in tending patrol planes, laying aircraft buoys, escorting convoys, and patrolling throughout the Eastern Pacific (Phoenix, Midway, Fiji, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, Florida, and New Caledonia). Returning to San Francisco on 7 November, she completed repairs on 30 December 1943 and then acted as a plane guard during Carrier qualifications off San Diego, until May 1944.
Between 15 June and 3 July 1944 she participated in the Saipan operation, laying aircraft buoys, and tending the first patrol squadron to operate from the area. Next, she performed patrol duties during the seizure of the Palau Islands (12 September - 11 December 1944).
In late December 1944, she began another stateside yard period, at Seattle. Upon completion of repairs, she was once again assigned to plane guard duties, operating out of San Diego until 1 October 1945. Ballard arrived at Philadelphia on 26 October 1945 to commence pre-inactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned on 5 December 1946 and sold on 23 May 1946.
Ballard received two battle stars for her service during World War II.
Interim Update, Robert J. Cressman
4 November 2021