- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Private First Class
- Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division "Red Arrow", U.S. Army (Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division "Red Arrow", U.S. Army)
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to William J. Balza, Private First Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry, in action against enemy forces on 25 December 1942, near Buna, New Guinea. When an infantry Company was cut off from its battalion, Private First Class Balza, in an effort to reestablish communications, volunteered to attempt to carry a telephone line to the isolated company. Though forced back twice by heavy enemy fire, with courageous determination and complete disregard for his own safety, he crawled forward across an open field and succeeded in reaching the isolated company with the telephone line. Private First Class Balza's conspicuous courage and determination were an inspiration to the men of his unit. His intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 32d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 34 (1943).