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Joseph James "Jocko" Clark is Born

Today in Masonic History Joseph James "Jocko" Clark is born in 1893.

Joseph James "Jocko" Clark was an American naval officer.

Clark was born on November 12th, 1893 in Chelsea, Oklahoma. He was born a member of the Cherokee Nation existing from 1794 to 1907. He attended the the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It was on his first day at the Naval Academy that he received the nickname "Jocko." While standing in ranks one of his classmates called out the name "The Right Reverend J. Jonathan Jockey Clark!" This turned into "Jocko" and the nickname stuck with him the rest of his life. He graduated from the Academy in 1917 and served during World War I.

At the beginning of World War II, Clark was a Captain. He was given command of the carriers USS Suwanee and the USS Yorktown. He was known as an aggressive commander who was always ready to take his crew into battle. In 1944 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and was given command of Task Group 58.1 under the Fast Carrier Task Group. Clark's Task Group was often sent to intercept Japanese aircraft being shuttled down from Japan during the Mariana Campaign. His Task Group worked so often near Chichijima and Iwo Jima his men started referring to them as "Jocko Jimas."

Clark had command of the Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 58) during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The battle ended the ability of the Japanese fleet to conduct large-scale carrier actions. His flagship during the battle was the USS Hornet. In the evening of the second day of the battle, Clark ordered all of the lights on the Hornet turned on to aid planes returning after sundown. This allowed for a majority of the aircraft to land safely.

During the Korean war, Clark was in command of another Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77). He was later promoted to Vice Admiral and given command of the 7th Fleet which is in the western half of the Pacific Ocean.

Before he retired after the Korean War, Clark was promoted to Admiral.

Clark passed away in St. Albans, New York on July 13th, 1971.

Clark was raised in Chelsea Lodge No. 84 in Chelsea, Oklahoma on December 6th, 1945. Present at his raising were various members of the leadership of the Cherokee Nation.