Adapted from "Rear Admiral George R. Clark, USN, Deceased" [biography, dated 6 September 1956] in Modern Officer Biographies Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command Archives, Washington Navy Yard.
George Ramsey Clark
20 March 1857-14 December 1945
George Ramsey Clark was born in Monroe, Ohio, on March 20, 1857. Appointed to the U. S. Naval Academy from his native state in 1874, he was graduated on June 20, 1878, promoted to Midshipman in June 1880, to Ensign (junior grade) in March 1883, and was commissioned Ensign, August 24, 1883. He subsequently progressed in grade until his promotion to Rear Admiral, July 12, 1918, in which rank he was transferred to the Retired List of the Navy, in February 1921. He died in Washington, D. C., on December 14, 1945.
After graduation in 1878, he served successively until the fall of 1889 in the following ships of the U. S. Navy: USS Independence (Ship-of-the-Line), USS Tuscarora (Screw Sloop), USS Wachusett (Screw Sloop-of-war), USS Michigan (Screw Steamer), USS Trenton (Screw Steamer), USS Alliance (Screw Gunboat), and USS Lancaster (Screw Sloop-of-war). He then had brief duty at William Cramp and Sons Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and rejoined Michigan in April 1890. Thereafter until 1895 he continued sea duty in the USS Richmond (Steam Sloop-of-war), USS Atlanta (Protected Cruiser), USS Machias (Gunboat No. 5), USS Essex (Wooden Screw Steamer), and the USS Amphitrite (Screw Monitor).
A tour of duty as an instructor in English at the Naval Academy, preceded further duty afloat from March 1898 in the USS Puritan (Monitor), USS Adams (Screw Steamer), and in the gunboat USS Yorktown (Gunboat No. 1), which operated in the Philippines and in China during the Boxer Rebellion. In June 1900 he was transferred to the USS Monocacy (Sidewheel Gunboat), and in July was hospitalized in Yokohoma, Japan, and the following November 2 was returned to the United States.
He had compass instruction in the Bureau of Equipment (abolished in 1910), Navy Department, Washington, D. C., from February to March 1901, and in April of that year became Officer in Charge of the Branch Hydrographic Office, Cleveland, Ohio, serving in that assignment until May 1920. The two succeeding years he served as Navigator of the USS Monongahela (Screw Sloop-of-War), and was Executive Officer of the USS Prairie (Auxiliary Cruiser) from May 1904 until she was placed out of commission in July 1905. For a year thereafter he served as Aide to the Commandant of the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia.
He commanded the battleship USS Texas (Battleship No. 35) from September 1906 until August 1907, when he returned to the Naval Academy to serve as Head of the Department of English. During the latter period of his three years there, he was also Commander of the naval Academy Practice Squadron on board the USS Iowa (Battleship No. 5), and for several months commanded that battleship. In April 1911 her was transferred to commander of the USS Minnesota (Battleship No. 22), and when detached from that command late in 1912, he became Commandant of the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, and Superintendent of the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Naval Districts.
In August 1914 he reported to the Secretary of the Navy, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., for duty as Aide for Education. Detached from that assignment in June 1915, he next served for a year as Senior member, Naval Examining and Naval Retirement Board, with additional duty as a Member of the Marine Examining Board. In August 191 he was designated Commandant, Naval Station, Hawaii, and in March 1917 was assigned additional duty as a member of the Joint Board in Connection with the Defense of the Island of Oahu, T. H.
In May 1918, during World War I, Rear Admiral Clark returned to the United States for duty as Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy. He was transferred to the Retired List of the Navy in February 1921, but continued active duty as Judge Advocate General until April 30 of that year, when he was released from all active duty. For outstanding services during and following World War I, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, Rear Admiral Clark had the Spanish Campaign Medal; the Philippine Campaign Medal; and the Victory Medal with Base Clasp.
He was survived by his daughter, Mrs. John F. Kehel, who resided at Washington, D. C.
Rear Admiral Clark, in collaboration with others, wrote a Short History of the U. S. Navy, which was published in 1911, and subsequently used as a text book at the Naval Academy. He also was the author of several articles published in the Naval Institute Proceedings.