JOSEPH HENDRICKSON BALLINGHOFF JR. was born February 23, 1913 in Wilmington, Delaware to Joseph H. and Anna Ballinghoff. He grew up in Camden, New Jersey, where his family had roots going back to the 1880s. His grandfather, Philip Ballinghoff, a cigarmaker by trade, hade come to Camden from Woodbury, New Jersey in late 1887 or early 1888. His parents had married around 1907, and were living at 633 Van Hook Street in Camden at the time the Census was taken in 1910. Joseph Ballinghoff Sr. was then working as a riveter at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard, and the move to Wilmington may have had something to do with a shipyard job there. In any event, the family had returned to Camden shortly after Joseph Jr.'s birth. The Ballinghoffs were living at 428 Jackson Street in 1920, Joseph Sr. having returned to his former trade and his former employ at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation.

By 1930 their were six children in the family, Joseph Jr., Philip, Calvin, Rose Anna, Donald, and Thomas. The family then lived at 1725 South 4th Street in Camden's Eighth Ward. They later moved to 220 North 10th Street.

Joseph H. Ballinghoff Jr. was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on October 5, 1938 and reported for duty with Engine Company 3 the following day. His abilities were soon recognized, and he was promoted to Captain on April 8, 1948. On January 9, 1950 he was reassigned to the Fire Marshall's office. On July 1, 1955 he was promoted to District Chief and assigned to the 2nd Platoon of the 2nd Fire District. On February 1, 1961 he was again reassigned, becoming the Administrative district Chief at Fire headquarters. Unfortunately, he was forced to leave the department on a disability pension on June 1, 1961.

Joseph Ballinghoff Jr.'s first cousin, Arthur F. Ballinghoff, joined the Fire Department on March 15, 1938. He would serve the City of Camden for 24 years before retiring in 1972. 

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Joseph Ballinghoff and his wife Ann living at 1302 South Merrimac Road in the Fairview section of Camden. They stayed there through the 1960s before moving to Audubon Park, New Jersey.

Joseph Ballinghoff was last a resident of Martin County, Florida. He died there in February 15, 1992.