JAMES S. CLARK, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Clark '35

Date of birth: October 2, 1912

Date of death: June 14, 1944

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:

Loss

1935 Clark 1.jpg

James was lost when USS Golet (SS 361) was sunk, probably by Japanese surface forces on June 14, 1944. He was the boat's commanding officer; he had taken command only a few weeks before, in May 1944. His previous billet had been XO of USS Swordfish (SS 193). (Swordfish was lost in early January 1945; it's likely he knew some or all of the men who were lost.)

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Career

From Fleet Organization:

  • Duty cfo Swordfish 1 Jul 1939
  • Communications Officer USS Swordfish (SS-193) 22 Jul 1939 - 1 Nov 1940
  • Executive Officer USS Swordfish (SS-193) Sep 1942 - 31 Mar 1943
  • Executive Officer USS Archerfish (SS-311) 4 Sep 1943 - Jan 1944
  • Executive Officer (PCO?) USS Golet (SS-361) 8 Mar 1944 - May 1944
  • Captain USS Golet (SS-361) 28 May 1944 - Jun 1944
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) 6 Jun 1938
  • Lieutenant 1 Jan 1942
  • Lieutenant Commander (T) 1 May 1943
  • Commander (T) 1 Mar 1944

Silver Star

From Together We Served:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander James Seerley Clark (NSN: 0-75043), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Assistant Approach Officer and also as Torpedo and Gunnery Officer of the U.S.S. SWORDFISH (SS-193), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific Area during World War II. During four hazardous war patrols of his Submarine, Lieutenant Commander Clark rendered invaluable services by his skillful maintenance of torpedoes, insuring consistently straight, accurate runs, and by his splendid initiative in effectively solving the torpedo problem despite severe enemy depth charging and bombing. When the SWORDFISH was assigned two special missions to Corregidor Fortress, Lieutenant Commander Clark greatly assisted in the successful execution of these important tasks. His outstanding ability and inspiring leadership contributed materially to the destruction of eleven hostile vessels and the damaging of another, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 02121 (October 22, 1943)

Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Job: Assistant Approach Officer
Vessel: U.S.S. Swordfish (SS-193)

Memorial Hall Error

James was promoted to CDR before his death; Memorial Hall has LCDR.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1935

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Claude Haman '26 and ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Claude Haman '26 and ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35.

April 1936

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Claude Haman '26 and ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35.

July 1936

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35 and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Francis Black '26 (Scouting Force).

January 1937

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35, ENS August Weinel '36, and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Francis Black '26 (Scouting Force).

April 1937

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35, ENS August Weinel '36, and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Francis Black '26 (Scouting Force) and ENS Thomas Sharp '35 (Scouting Force).

September 1937

Ensign, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS August Weinel '36 and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Thomas Sharp '35 (Scouting Force).

January 1938

Ensign, staff, Scouting Force, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Sharp '35.

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS August Weinel '36 (USS Indianapolis) and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36 (USS Indianapolis).

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), staff, Scouting Force, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS Frank Robinson '36.

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS Charles Reimann '38 (USS Indianapolis).

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Julian Morrison, Jr. '25 and LTjg Roscoe Dillen, Jr. '35.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Swordfish

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Swordfish

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Swordfish

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Swordfish

Others at this command: ENS David Sloan, Jr. '38.


Class of 1935

James is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 on Virtual Memorial Hall.