Special Collection

The Cruise Book of Rear Admiral J.J. “Jocko” Clark

On November 12, 2021, The Army and Navy Club Library Trust hosted members of the Cherokee Nation for an evening in honor of Admiral Joseph James “Jocko” Clark (1893-1971). During the evening’s ceremonies, Vice Admiral Jeffrey Trussler, a Cherokee Nation citizen and the Director of Naval Intelligence, presented a naval cruise book that once belonged to Admiral Clark to Kimberly Teehee, the Cherokee Nation Delegate-designate to Congress. Delegate Teehee accepted the cruise book on behalf of her Nation. (For more information about the event, click here).

The cruise book was originally presented to Admiral Clark by his staff when he commanded the Fast Carrier Task Force during World War II. It contains striking photographs of military life and operations aboard aircraft carriers in the Pacific from 1944-1945, as well as officer portraits of Clark and his unit by award winning commercial photographer Lieutenant Charles Kerlee USNR, who served with Lieutenant Commander Edward Steichen’s Naval Aviation Photographic Unit. Many of the photos are signed or inscribed. The Admiral Clark cruise book resides at the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma, so that future generations may look back on this fearless leader from naval history and reflect on the years of service he proudly gave to his country.

The Army and Navy Club Library Trust is grateful to the Cherokee Nation for their permission to digitize the cruise book for addition in our online collection, so that we may share this history.

Admiral Clark was the first Native American to graduate from the United States Naval Academy. Called “the fightingest Admiral in the Pacific Theatre” by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, he is remembered for his famous saying: “Watch every angle and fight for every inch.” His first assignments were aboard destroyers during World War I; he transitioned to naval aviation soon after. He commanded carriers USS Suwannee (ACV-27) and USS Yorktown (CV-10). Clark was an aggressive commander, serving in the Fast Carrier Task Force. He captained the USS Yorktown during the Marianas Campaign and in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. He led the Cherokee Raids during the Korean War and commanded the Seventh Fleet. Awards include the Navy Cross, Navy DSM, Army DSM, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit. The guided-missile frigate USS Clark (FFG-11) is named in his honor. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.