Admiral “Jocko” Clark Cruise Book Ceremony

Native American Heritage Reception

Friday, November 12

The Army and Navy Club Library Trust hosted members of the Cherokee Nation to honor Admiral Joseph James “Jocko” Clark (1893-1971). During the ceremony, Vice Admiral Jeffrey Trussler, a Cherokee Nation citizen who currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6) and as 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, who accepted the cruise book on behalf of the Cherokee Nation.

The cruise book was originally presented to Admiral Clark by his staff when he was in command of the Fast Carrier Task Force. It contains striking photographs of military life and operations aboard aircraft carriers in the Pacific during 1944-5, as well as officer portraits 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 will reside 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 remember the years of service he proudly gave to his country. In conjunction with these efforts, The Library Trust was given permission to photograph and digitize the cruise book for inclusion in our online collection website.

For more information about the event, read this article by the U.S. Navy Press Office by clicking here.

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.