Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy
Place and date: Vierzy, France, and Somme-Py, France, 19 July and 5 October 1918
Entered service at: Kansas City, Mo. Born: 2 January 1896, Edgerton, Kansas
Citation: 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.
Photos courtesy of Sharon Balch Cline