auxiliary seaplane tender
314' 4" x 31' 8" x 9' 10"
4 × 4" guns
1 × 3"guns
12 × 21" torpedo tubes
Laid down at Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Squantum, Massachusetts on June 3, 1918 Launched on December 7, 1918. Commissioned 5 June 1919, Lieutenant Commander H. M. Collier in command, and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. Ballard received two battle stars for her service during World War II.
Between July 1919 and July 1920 Ballard cruised 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 17 June 1922.
Conversion to Seaplane Tender
On 25 June 1940 Ballard was placed in commission in ordinary and was towed to Union Yard of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, San Francisco for conversion to an auxiliary seaplane tender (reclassified AVD-10, 2 August 1940). She was placed in full commission 2 January 1941 and reported to the Pacific Fleet.
Ballard steamed to Pearl Harbor arriving on January 28, 1942. Sent to the South Pacific, tending patrol planes, laying aircraft buoys, escorting convoys, and patrolling throughout the Eastern Pacific including: Phoenix, Midway, Fiji, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, Florida Island, and New Caledonia.
During the Guadalcanal campaign, USS Ballard with USS Mackinac were tending PBY Catalinas at Graciosa Bay on Ndeni Island. On September 12, 1942, both ships were shelled by a Japanese submarine. Ballard slipped its anchor and proceeded at full speed to find the submarine but it submerged and escaped and neither side inflicted any damage.
Returning to San Francisco November 7, 1943, she completed repairs by December 30, 1943 Until May 1944, acted as a plane guard during carrier qualification off San Diego.
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 during 12 September – 11 December 1944).
In late December 1944 she began another stateside yard period, at Seattle, Washington. 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, Pennsylvania 26 October 1945 to commence pre-inactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned 5 December 1945 and sold for scrap on May 23, 1946.
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 10, 2018