John Pascoe Clark was born in Plymouth, England, on June 10, 1910, son of Walter and Louisa Ann (Williams) Clark. He attended Manual Training High School in Brooklyn, New York, and was graduated from the New York State Maritime Academy in September 1932 with license as Third Officer. He became Chief Officer in the Merchant Service before reporting in June 1940 for active duty in the US Naval Reserve, with commission as Lieutenant dating from February 20, 1940. Through subsequent advancement in the Naval Reserve he attained the rank of Captain, to date from February 1, 1951.
After two month’s training on board USS Seattle, he reported in August 1940 to USS Prairie, in which he served until July 1943, as 1st. Lieutenant, Damage Control Officer, Communicator and Navigator. While on board that destroyer tender he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, to date from June 15, 1942. He had seven month’s duty as Executive Officer of USS Mindanao, then during the latter period of World War II commanded USS Chara (AKA-58) which, under his command, participated combat operations in the pacific Area. These included the Leyte landings, Lingayen Gulf landing, assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, and operating in Sambales-Subic Bay. While in command of the Chara, he was promoted to Commander in March 1944, effective November 18, 1942.
From August to November 1945 he served as Executive Officer and Aide to the Commandant, and Commandant of Midshipman, at the Maine Maritime Academy, and for four months thereafter was Commanding Officer of USS Vertitas (AKA- 50). He was released from active duty in March 1946, and recalled to active naval service in October 1948, assigned as Naval Reserve Merchant Marine Officer, Program Officer, MSTS Program Officer and Assistant Director of Training, at Headquarters Fifth Naval District, Norfolk, Virginia.
In July 1951 he reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC, for a tour of duty as Assistant Head, later Acting Head of Foreign Military Assistance Branch. In August 1953 he was detached for duty afloat as Commanding Officer of USS Haven, hospital ship operating in Korean waters, under the United Nations Command. Detached after two years in that command, he reported in September 1955 to Headquarters, Third Naval District, New York, NY, where he completed a three year tour as Executive Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, and Naval Reserve Merchant Marine Program Officer.
In October 1958 he was transferred to the Twelfth Naval District Headquarters, San Francisco, California, for duty as Naval Reserve Advisor and Executive Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff (Naval Reserve and Training), and Programs Administration Division Officer.
Prior to returning to active duty in October 1948, Captain Clark had again been employed in Merchant Marine service, this time by Farrell Lines, Inc., as Port captain in New York, and later as Resident Manager in Monrovia, Liberia.
He has the Naval Reserve Medal (for ten years active service in the American Campaign); the American Defense Service Medal, with bronze “A”; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three operation stars; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars. He is a licensed Master Mariner, any ocean, any tonnage.