Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class Balderman was a member of the crew of an EC-121 surveillance aircraft, serving with the U.S. Navy. On April 15, 1969, while on a surveillance mission over the Sea of Japan in support of the Korean truce, his aircraft was shot down. All 31 crewmen were reported missing. He was presumed dead on May 2, 1969. Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class Balderman was awarded the Purple Heart and the National Defense Service Medal.