Peter Dierks Joers was born Feb. 11, 1919, in Kansas City, Missouri, to William H. Joers and Catherine (Dierks) Joers. He grew up in New York City and after graduation from The Hill School, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1942. During his naval career, he served as Communications Officer on the U.S.S. Ericcson and later held the same position on the U.S.S. Yorktown. He also completed a course of postgraduate study in electronics at the Naval Academy and served on the staff of Admiral Arthur Radford in communications. While on active duty, he served the Senate Naval Liaison Officer between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Senate. Mr. Joers advanced from the rank of Ensign to Lt. Commander and retired in 1957 as full Commander. For his engagements in the Asiatic Pacific and the European Theaters, he was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and nine battle stars. He was also awarded two Bronze Stars for combat action and the Department of Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Citation.
Following his active naval service, he became Vice President of Dierks Forest Inc. in 1946 and was named Chairman of the Board in 1965, serving in this position until September 1969 when the company was acquired by the Weyerhaeuser Company. In 1955, he was elected as a member of the Mexico-United States Committee of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States and held the distinction of being one of the youngest men ever elected to the U. S. Chamber’s Board. The opening of Camp Yorktown Bay in 1962 for boys 11 to 17 1/2 years of age marked the realization of a dream of Mr. Joers and colleagues of the Hot Springs Council of the Navy League. Located on Lake Ouachita on land donated by Dierks Forests, it was accomplished after almost two years of work in which his organizational ability was evidenced in securing the whole-hearted cooperation of persons from every walk of life. It is presently operated by the Seventh-day Adventists as a youth camp.
In 1975, Mr. Joers was instrumental in moving the Yorktown to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, to form the nucleus of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and in 1979, the Fighting Lady became the nation’s memorial to all its fallen comrades.
Mr. Joers died Sunday, April 23, 2006, at home. He leaves behind a legacy as a role model for families and his powerful presence will be greatly missed (Sentinel-Record, 2006).
(1963, Oct. 31). 1964 State Chamber Officers. Baxter Bulletin, p. 20.
(2006, Apr. 26). Peter Dierks Joers. Sentinel-Record.