Military Wiki
Joseph J. Clark
Admiral Joseph J. Clark
Nickname Jocko
Born (1893-11-12)November 12, 1893
Died July 13, 1971(1971-07-13) (aged 77)
Place of birth Chelsea, Oklahoma
Place of death St. Albans, New York
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1917-1953
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Suwannee (ACV-27)
Yorktown (CV-10)
Task Group 58.1/38.1
Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77)
7th Fleet
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Korean War
Awards Navy Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit

Admiral Joseph James "Jocko" Clark, USN (November 12, 1893 – July 13, 1971) was an admiral in the United States Navy, who commanded aircraft carriers during World War II. Born and raised in Oklahoma and a native of the Cherokee Nation, he was the first Native American to graduate from the United States Naval Academy, in 1917.[1]

Naval career

Clark's nickname, "Jocko", originated at the Naval Academy: on one of his first days there, he was standing in ranks when a classmate called out "The Right Reverend J. Jonathan Jockey Clark!"[2]


During World War II, Clark commanded the carriers Suwannee (ACV-27) and Yorktown (CV-10). He was known as an aggressive commander, ready to take his group into battle.[3] In 1944 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and given command of Task Group 58.1 and served under the commands of Admiral Mitscher of the Fast Carrier Task Force, and Admiral Spruance, commander, Fifth Fleet. He commanded Task Group 58.1 in the Marianas campaign, and on multiple occasions his group was sent north to interdict Japanese aircraft being shuttled down from Japan. His air groups conducted attacks on shuttle points Chichi and Iwo Jima so often that sailors of the Fast Carrier Task Force nicknamed them the "Jocko Jimas".[4] He operated his task group in conjunction with the rest of Task Force 58 in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. His flagship was the carrier 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.[5]

Clark commanded the Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77) during the Korean War. He was later promoted to Vice Admiral and rose to command the 7th Fleet.


Clark retired on December 1, 1953, with the rank of Admiral. His awards included the Navy Cross, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, 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. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Clark's flag lieutenant was historian Clark G. Reynolds' uncle. Reynolds was chosen to co-author Clark's autobiography.[6]

Admiral Joseph Clark

Clark was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1952.[7]


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


  1. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.[]
  2. Clark G Reynolds The Fighting Lady: The New Yorktown in the Pacific War. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1986. ISBN 0-933126-78-6.
  3. Potter p. 144
  4. Potter p. 179
  5. Potter p. 168
  6. "December 2006: Review of his biography of Adm Clark", International Journal of Naval History. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
  7. "Oklahoma Hall of Fame". Retrieved November 16, 2012. 

Further reading

  • Carrier admiral by J. J. Clark (1893–1971) with Clark G. Reynolds. (1967)
  • On the warpath in the Pacific: Admiral Jocko Clark and the fast carriers, by Clark G. Reynolds (2005)

External links

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