Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Clark, Joseph James "Jocko"



Admiral Joseph James Clark, USN was an admiral in the U.S. Navy, who commanded aircraft carriers during World War II. A native of Oklahoma, Clark was of Cherokee heritage. He was the first Native American to graduate from the Unites States Naval Academy in 1917.

During World War II, he commanded the carriers Suwannee (ACV-27) and Yorktown (CV-10). In 1944 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and given acommand of Task Force 58, which he commanded in the Marianas campaign, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea. His flagship was the Hornet (CV-12). On the second day of the battle, with his planes returning after sundown, Clark ordered his ships to light up, allowing most planes to land safely.

Clark retired in 1953 with the rank of full Admiral. His awards included the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Korean Order of Military Merit. Admiral Clark died on July 13, 1971 at St. Albans, New York.

In 1979, the guided-missile frigate USS Clark (FFG-11) was named in his honor.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Sverre O. Bach Oral History

Identifier: OHP 018
Scope and Contents Sverre Bach served aboard Intrepid as an F6F pilot in VF-6 during World War II, in 1944. Bach began his interview by discussing his family history and stating that he followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers who were naval aviators. He then described the various stages of flight training, the aircraft he flew, and the lessons he learned. Bach then discussed his training in the F4F Wildcat and explained the differences between the American F4F and the Japanese “Zero.” He also...