Donald L. Balch oral history interview
Fighter ace Donald L. Balch discusses his military service with the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He describes his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot, including his time in Guadalcanal with Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221). Special focus on a combat mission on April 7, 1943 in which he scored an aerial victory against a Japanese Zero (Zeke) aircraft and damaged another.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Donald L. Balch was born on July 6, 1917 in Youngstown, Ohio. He entered naval aviation training in September 1941 and graduated in July of the following year. He served two combat tours in the Pacific Theater with Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221), one during the Guadalcanal Campaign in 1943 and one during the Okinawa Campaign in 1945. Balch remained in the Marine Corps Reserve after the war and retired as a captain. In his civilian life, he worked as a stock broker in Santa Barbara, California. Balch passed away in 1995.
Biographical information courtesy of: Boyce, Ward J., ed., American fighter aces album. Mesa, Ariz: American Fighter Aces Association, 1996.