John Alfred Clark was born in Gunnison, Colorado, on September 23, 1906, son of Alfred C. and Mabel Ferguson (Meyer) Clark. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Civil Engineering in June 1930, and a certificate in Public Health Engineering in May 1938, from Leland Stanford University and the University of California, respectively. He subsequently served as Sanitary Engineer, Farm Security Administration, US Department of Labor in charge of sanitation of Migratory Labor Camps in 11 states. Commissioned Lieutenant (junior graduation the in Civil Engineer Crops of the US Naval Reserve on June 30, 1937, he through normal advancement, attained the rank of Captain, CEC, USNR, to date from November 1, 1945.
Called to active duty in February 1941, after a period of inactive status in the Naval Reserve, he reported to the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, where he served as Housing Manager (administering 900 housing units) during the period prior to and immediately following the outbreak of World War II. He was detached in July 1942, and for the next four months served as Mosquito Control Engineer for Base “Roses) at Efate, New Hebrides. From November 1942 until August 1943 he was Water Supply Engineer for Base “Epic” Noumea, New Caledonia, concerned with rehabilitation and enlargement of the city of Noumea Minicipal Water System to provide adequate water for the US Armed Forces personnel.
From August 1943 until June 1944, he was a hospital patient and had temporary duty, and during the latter period of the war and until May 1946 had duty as Assistant Public Works Officer at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. While there he also served as Contract Superintendent and Sanitary Engineer. Ordered next to Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, he completed a tour of duty as Naval Reserve Construction Battalion Program Officer on the Staff of the Commandant, in December 1948. The next month he reported to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, to serve until July 1950 as Assistant Director, CB Reserve Program, in the Bureau of Yards and Docks.
For a year he was assigned as Assistant Installations Officer at Headquarters, Joint Task Force Three, Washington, DC, providing facilities for the Atomic Bomb Tests in Operation “Greenhouse” at Eniwetok. In July 1951 he reported to the District Public Works Office, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, serving there until December 1956 as Naval Reserve Training Center Program Officer, in charge of maintenance and construction for Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Facilities.
Under orders of December 5, 1956 he reported early in 1957 to Bangkok, Thailand, where he was Officer in Charge of Construction for Thailand. On February 26, 1958, he was ordered to return to the United States for duty in the Naval Reserve Training Command, Omaha, Nebraska.
Captain Clark has the Naval Reserve Medal; the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and the Expert Rifleman Medal.