JAMES S. CLARK, LCDR, 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.


Class of 1935

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