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Charlotte Power Squadron (CPS) was formed more than 60 years ago.

How United States Power Squadrons Originated

In 1912 when the motor boat was just becoming reliable, and speeds of 8 to 10 knots were being achieved by the more powerful boats, a group of Boston Yacht Club members, feeling that there was a serious lack of knowledge of the proper handling of motor boats, instituted special activities for power boats, including instructional classes in their operation. Thus began the "Power Squadron of the Boston Yacht Club." Soon other eastern yacht clubs learned of the movement, found it to be attractive, and sought to join in the work. This led to meetings at the New York Yacht Club and the formation of the national organization in 1914. The original membership requirements laid great stress on the ability to handle boats properly. Also because of the war in Europe at the time, emphasis was placed on boat drills patterned after naval practice, on signaling, and on similar preparedness activities. The ability to pass an entrance examination was one of the earliest requirements.

By 1916, the membership had grown to some five hundred. The instruction program had taken on definite form and the fore-runner of the present-day Junior Navigation Course had been instituted. It encompassed only the bare essentials of today's course, and was given as a series of four lectures during the winter. Passing a special examination and attendance of four drills per year for three years made a member a Junior Navigator. Despite the limited lecture program, the examination included some of the subject matter of the present Navigator Course, which dates from 1917. ​ As the United States prepared to enter World War I, USPS organized an extensive series of classes, open to non-members as well as members, for the study of seamanship, signaling, navigation and naval procedures. This was the first of many civic services offered to the public by USPS through the years. Over 5000 men who attended those Squadron classes entered the armed forces, many of them receiving commissions partially on the basis of their USPS training. ​ With the return of peace, the boat drill requirement was dropped from the Squadrons' program and emphasis was shifted to instructional activities as a service to its members. The USPS constitution was re-drafted to implement the objectives, and the organization was reconstituted on a truly national basis. The development of USPS as it is known today had begun. ​ At the outset, progress was relatively slow, but the instruction program was carried on from year to year and the membership continued to grow. The old distinction between sail and power boating faded, and the squadrons began to appeal to all those interested in the handling of small boats. In the late 1920's, a thorough review of the entire instruction program for its members was undertaken and from this study emerged the work in the Advanced Grades, which made provision for the courses now known as Piloting, Advanced Piloting, Junior Navigation and Navigation. Through continuous development, USPS evolved a well-rounded educational program administered by its members who are some of the best informed and most enthusiastic boatmen in the country. United States Power Squadrons is a civilian body in every way and, although officers and members may wear uniforms, it is in no sense a military organization. Any boat, when it displays the Ensign of United States Power Squadrons is marked as being under the command of an individual who has earned the right to display this symbol. ​

Charlotte Power Squadron
Chartered 1961

In 1959, six local men, (Brooks Lindsay, Jimmy Beard, Robert McDuffie, Luke Blackmer, Fred Kennerly and Fred Wichmann), contacted the Winston-Salem Power Squadron about teaching a boating class in the Charlotte area. They agreed and the course was taught at the Gaston County Wildlife Building in Belmont. A small group of men, including Lindsay, Beard, Kennerly and McDuffie took the course.

It was a snap for Lindsay and Beard as they had long been involved in advanced boating activities with a water sports club sponsored by radio station WSOC. The entire group passed the Piloting class and then became members of the Winston-Salem Power Squadron. The Commander of that squadron, Don Soifker, soon approved of a division to be formed in Charlotte. This first group was a division of Winston-Salem Power Squadron.

 As experienced as these early planners were, they needed help if they were going to teach a boating class. This was a necessary qualification to becoming a squadron and these guys were determined to become a full fledged squadron, with their own charter. The word went out via WSOC radio that anyone interested in forming a local Power Squadron should give them a call.  Soon three very significant calls came in. The first was from Charlie Dell AP, the next from Jim Fivecoat JN and the third from Howard Greene.  When asked if he had had any courses, Howard answered yes he had.  When asked which ones, he replied, all of them. ... Howard was an N, or Navigator. The first class was taught in the fall of 1960.  There were 65 students.  The Division members who took the Gaston Wildlife Boating Class were now not only teaching their own boating class, but were taking Seamanship, being taught by Charlie Dell AP. A charter was now in sight.  A petition with all requirements met, was presented to D/C Luther Haynie, Commander of District 26.  The charter was issued and dated 10 April 1961. Charter Night was celebrated on 5 May 1961 at the Barringer Hotel in downtown Charlotte. The first Bridge for Charlotte Power Squadron was sworn in that night: Charles A. Dell AP — Commander       James O. Beard S — Executive Officer Howard E. Greene N — Educational Officer. L. Brooks Lindsay S — Administrative Officer Paul E. Halberstadt S — Secretary C. Lin Taylor S — Treasurer The roster now included 48 members, six Women Certificate holders and three apprentices.  The first squadron meeting was held at the studios of station WSOC.  The first Change of Watch was held at the Regatta Room of the Commodore Yacht Club on Lake Wylie. The registration for the Spring 1962 Boating Class was 353.  This first class was taught at the old Naval Reserve Armory building in downtown Charlotte. In March of 1963, District 27 was established and Charlotte Power Squadron became a part of the new district. The words “spin off” refer to the fathering of a new squadron.  Charlotte Power Squadron has had this honor twice.  In 1964, Catawba Power Squadron spun off under the leadership of John Marshall.  In 1977, Lake Norman Power Squadron spun off led by Tom Whitesides.  In January 1979, Charlotte Power Squadron leased waterfront property on the South Carolina side of Lake Wylie.  A contest was held to name the “lot” which was won by Grace Halberstadt.  The name Merit Mark Point was established.  In December 1984, Merit Mark Point was purchased from Crescent Land and Timber.

Charlotte Power Squadron Today

America's Boating Club - Charlotte (Charlotte Power Squadron) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2022. Today its total membership numbers about 100 and includes full active members, family members and associate members. It has grown over the years both in number of members and scope of activities.

During the past 60 years Charlotte Power Squadron has taught the USPS Boating Course (originally called the Piloting Course) to many thousands of students. Through self-education, many hundreds if not thousands of advanced grade and elective courses have been completed by its members. The Advanced Grade Courses range from Seamanship through Piloting, Advanced Piloting, and Junior Navigation to Navigation.

The Piloting courses stress navigation within sight of land, with emphasis on effects of tides and currents at the Advanced Piloting level, while the Navigation courses cover celestial navigation. The Navigation courses are equal in all respects to those taught by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Elective Courses include Weather, Sail, Marine Electronics, Engine Maintenance, Cruise Planning and Instructor Qualification. There are also a number of supplemental courses which may be self-taught. ​ Squadron members and their guests participate in many social events including the annual Children's Outing together with the Catawba squadron, Safe Boating Week activities, a coastal rendezvous, the Commander's picnic, and the Change of Watch Banquet. Many members participate in the combined business/social district conferences, USPS Governing Board Meetings and the USPS Annual Meeting. Members also participate in manning the squadron educational booths at various boat shows in the Charlotte area. ​ Originally a male only organization, the squadron is now oriented to the family, and equal opportunities exist for both male and female members. Charlotte Power Squadron is proud of its many members who contribute meritorious service given unselfishly in the interests of its organization.

History of the
Charlotte Power Squadron Burgee

Charlotte-50th-Burgee.jpg

When Charlotte Power Squadron was chartered in 1961, it became necessary to design a distinctive pennant. The handful of members was long on interest but short on USPS experience.  Robert L. Selby designed the first pennant, which received USPS approval.

The flag primarily was a solid field of dark blue, which was symbolic of the ocean we traverse.  Centrally located near the fly was a white fouled anchor, long a symbol of the yachtsman.  Superimposed on the anchor was a light yellow “hornet’s nest” which is a symbol associated with the local area.  Toward the peak was a white chevron or V stripe with apex toward  the anchor-hornet’s nest symbol.  The chevron was to symbolize community service.  This pennant lasted until early 1969 when it was superceded by the present one.

During its lifetime, several faults became apparent.  The yellow hornet’s nest looked like a yellow lemon.  It also was felt that the pennant did not show any USPS relationship.  It could just as well have been the flag of a hypothetical “Hornet’s Nest Yacht Club.” With these two thoughts in mind, Gene Neal was requested by then Commander Howard Greene to redesign the pennant.  Several drawings were made and a committee selected our present one to recommend.  It’s interesting to recall that the committee couldn’t agree between two similar flags.  The deciding factor was the opinion of Howard’s father, who liked the present one.  The new pennant selected has a red field near the fly, followed by blue and white vertical stripes.  Seeing these colors at a distance and flying from the bow immediately lets an approaching vessel know there is a USPS boat coming.   On the red field is applied a yellow crown.  The crown is symbolic of Charlotte “The Queen City.” The current pennant is outlined in gold, signifying 50 years.

Past Squadron Commanders

The men and women listed below all dedicated a minimum of one year of their life to leading, managing, and coaching the Charlotte Power Squadron.

To these people the Squadron is deeply indebted.

Commander's Roast

1961-62 P/C Charles A. Dell, AP

1962-63 P/C James O. Beard, Jr., AP

1963-64 P/C L. Brooks Lindsay, AP

1964-65 P/C Paul E. Halberstadt, AP

1965-66 P/R/C J. Toms Dover, SN

1966-67 P/C Green F. Cooper, AP

1967-68 P/C Rayner Weir, AP

1968-69 P/R/C Howard E. Greene, SN

1969-70 P/R/C Eugene J. Neal, Jr., AP

1970-71 P/C Lloyd E. Woolsey, AP

1971-72 P/C W. Clyde Burke, AP

1972-73 P/C Robert L. Neill, AP

1973-74 D/Lt/C Thomas K. Moore, Jr., AP

1974-75 P/V/C Ralston M. Pound, Jr., SN

1975-76 P/C Robert S. Hudgins, IV, SN

1976-77 P/R/C John J. Rodgers, SN

1977-78 P/C T. Melvin Cook, SN

1978-79 P/C Ira T. Schey, Jr., AP

1979-80 P/D/C William C. Bodmer, JN

1980-81 P/C Eugene R. Boyd, SN

1981-82 P/C Milton B. Whann, AP

1982-83 P/C Ross H. Francis, JN

1983-84 P/R/C Orlando E. Katter, Jr., AP

1984-85 P/C James R. Garrison, AP

1985-86 D/Lt Charles. Higgins, SN

1986-87 P/C J. Cleve Love, Jr., AP

1987-88 P/C Walter N. Hipp, Jr., SN

1988-89 P/C Lula B. Dickinson, SN

1989-90 P/C Carl A. Foesch, AP

1990-91 P/C Henry W. Bateman, JN

1991-92 P/C Claud E. Hefner, JN

1992-93 P/D/C George H. Rogers, Sr., AP

1993-94 P/D/C Carol E. Smith, AP

1994-95 P/C Marvin Chaney, Jr., N

1995-96 P/C Ron H. Eveson, P

1996-97 P/C Rosanne Bateman, P

1997-98 P/C David M. Stewart, AP

1998-99 P/C George H. Rogers, Jr., P

1999-00 P/C Mary Cele Bain, AP

2000-01 P/C John A. King, II, AP

2001-02 P/Stf/C Charles. Ibach, III, JN

2002-03 P/C Donald P. Osmond, AP

2003-04 P/D/Lt/C David H. Osmolski, AP

2004-05 P/C Brevard S. Myers, Jr, SN

2005-06 P/C C. Douglas Drum, Sr, P

2006-07 P/C Wm. Marshall Bain, AP

2007-08 P/C Bill J. Stegelmeyer, AP

2008-09 P/C Paul A. Standridge, AP

2009-10 P/D/C Paula F. Stewart, P

2010-11 P/C Louis (Trey) Rogers III, P

2011-12 P/Stf/C Charles. Ibach, III, JN

2012-13 P/C Ken Elkins, JN

2013-14 P/C David M. Stewart, AP

2014-15 P/D/C Patricia (Pat) W. Hakanson, SN

2015-16 P/C John P. (Jack) Moore, AP-IN

2016-17 P/C John P. (Jack) Moore, AP-IN

2017-18 P/C William (Will) G Granger, P-IN

2018-19 P/C David J. Samonds, P

2019-20 P/C Paula F. Stewart, AP

2020-21 P/C John P. (Jack) Moore, AP-IN

2021-22 P/Stf/C Charles. Ibach, III, SN-ACN

2022-23 P/C Marvin Chaney, Jr. SN

2023-24 P/C Patricia (Pat) W. Hakanson, SN

Past Educational Officers

The men and women listed helped to lead one of the most important arms of the squadron -- the Educational Department -- responsible for planning for, conducting, and managing all courses. Our boating skills are tied directly to their service.

1961-64 P/R/C Howard E. Greene, SN

1965-67 P/Lt/C Fred M. Kennerly, JN

1967-69 P/R/C J. Toms Dover, SN

1969-72 P/Lt/C Alfred M. Murrell, AP

1972-74 P/R/C John J. Rodgers, SN

1974-76 P/Lt/C James W. Schout, JN

1976-78 P/R/C Eugene R. Boyd, SN

1978-80 P/Lt/C John J. Ross, AP

1980-82 P/Lt/C Roger C. Dickinson, SN

1982-83 P/Lt/C Charles T. Mann II, SN

1983-85 P/C Bill T. Fesperman, SN **

1985-88 P/Lt/C Francis Stromar, JN

1988-89 P/C Harold J. Wilkinson, SN **

 ** P/C of another squadron

1989-92 P/Lt/C John W. Kenney, SN

1992-93 P/Lt/C Ann M. Kenney, SN

1993-94 P/Lt/C Steven R. Chancey, SN

1994-95 P/C Harold J. Wilkinson, SN **

1995-97 P/Lt/C G. Bruce Woods, SN

1997-98 P/R/C John J. Rodgers, SN-CN

1999-02 P/C Brevard S. Myers, Jr. SN-ACN

2003-04 P/Lt/C William H. Pierce, JN

2005-09 P/Stf/C Charles R. Ibach, III, SN-ACN

2010-17 P/D/Lt/C David H. Osmolski, SN-CN

2017-18 P/R/C John J. Rodgers, SN-CN

2018-21 P/C Marvin Chaney, Jr. SN

2021-     P/C Brevard S. Myers, Jr. SN-ACN

 ** P/C of another squadron

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