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United States Power Squadrons® Teaching Safe Boating Since 1914 Chief Commander Frank Dvorak, SN 1504 Blue Ridge Road Raleigh, North Carolina 27607 The United States Power Squadrons Application For Consideration of a 2014 Commemorative Stamp In 2014, the United States Power Squadrons 40,000 volunteer members will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization’s unique service to our nation. Six U.S. presidents have honored it. All fifty states and the territorial governors issued a joint proclamation in 2004 praising its important contributions. It is heralded as the nation’s largest boating safety educator. At the Boston Yacht Club in 1912, the United States Power Squadrons had its genesis as an innovative training division for operators of the newly available power boats. By 1914, Franklin Roosevelt, as Under Secretary of the Navy, realized its value and encour- aged the formation of a national organization. In both world wars, in addition to its boat- ing programs, the Power Squadrons instructed government endorsed naval training courses. In recent decades its services have expanded. In cooperation with United States Coast Guard it has provided non punitive vessel safety checks for recreational vessels in coop- eration. In support of the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security it has promoted citizen awareness and training. In the era of fiscal constraints, it is the nation’s primary source of information on the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) nautical charts. As has been true for almost a century, its major mission is with cities and towns, boating interests and individuals, fostering programs for safety information and education. Today, its USPS University offers diverse courses, seminar offerings, and on-the-water training. It is the nation’s major source for educating boaters and saving lives. For these reasons the United States Power Squadrons’ members seek the issuance of a 2014 commemora- tive stamp in recognition of its valuable national service In 2014 The United States Power Squadrons Completes 100 Years of National Service 9 Rear Commodore Roger Upton, founder of the Power Squadron of the Boston Yacht Club in 1912, observes drills and maneuvers aboard his yacht, Elizabeth. Early USPS logo is also shown. Page 1 of 9 Historical Background In the beginning of the Twentieth Century recreational yachting in the United States was largely confined to sailing craft and large steam yachts manned by professional crews. Yacht clubs taught and promoted the sport of sailing and as motor yachts joined the fleet, there were few activities for them. Roger Upton, a Massachusetts businessman, was a sailing member of the Boston Yacht Club in 1909. Because wind power was so often unreliable, he bought a 35-foot motor launch with a gaso- line engine to serve as tender for his ketch and as a towing vessel when she was becalmed. The reliability of power appealed to him and he grew to love power boating. As the yacht club’s Rear Commodore, his ideas concerning the need to train power boaters were accepted and he was placed in charge of the unofficial Power Boat Division of the fleet. A self-taught navigator and stickler for doing things right, he soon kept the divi- sion's thirty- six members busy with Early Power Squadron boats practicing drills based studies, on U.S. Naval maneuvers. cruises, races and drills modeled after U.S. Naval maneuvers. At the time, the laws of the United States governing nav- igation applied only to steam vessels, and they were governed by a board of steamboat inspectors who were old, crusty, sea-going men. These inspectors had no use whatsoever for the small internal-combustion yachts and it was their fondest hope to gain control of these boats and have them supervised by the same stringent rules which governed the ocean liners and other vessels powered by steam. Upton and other United States Power Squadron founders set out to protect power yacht operators from the stigma of being considered inept. Page 2 of 9 During the summer of 1912, twenty vessels of the yacht clubs’ new Power Boat Division were in- vited to go with forty of the club’s windjammers on the annual Boston Yacht Club cruise to Port- land, Maine. During the cruise a screeching nor'wester blew up. Many of the sailing yachts were dismasted or otherwise disabled. The power yachts under Upton's command went to their rescue, towing disabled craft to port. No loss of life or sail boats was reported. The event was published in a six-page arti- cle, with ac- companying photos of the rescue boats, in Motorboat M a g a z i n e ’s September 1912 issue. It was written by George Hud- son Story, a feature writer Motorboats To The Rescue - 1912: An oil painting by marine artist Donald for The Demers, based on the event and magazine articles on the rescue. Boston Globe and a member of the Powerboat Division of the Boston Yacht Club. This article generated great publicity for the proficiency of the Division’s members. Assisted by a three-page story in Yacht- ing Magazine and additional coverage in Motor Boating Magazine, more interest was generated and yacht clubs in New England, the New York Metropolitan area, and elsewhere began talking about emulating something similar in their own yacht clubs. At the annual Boston Yacht Club Meeting in January 1913, the name was changed to "Power Squadron" and the club-within-a- club was officially recognized with its own section in the Boston Yacht Club year book, shown at right. Only when a prospective member was able to pass a fairly stiff examination in advanced pi- loting subjects was he authorized to fly the group’s streamer. Though powered vessels were referred to as "stink boats" by sail- ing members, their owners and operators were held in great es- teem for the knowledge they had acquired of seamanship and navigation. Page 3 of 9 In June 1913, Roger Upton called for delegates representing seventy clubs and associations of powerboat owners to as- semble at the New York Yacht Club during the New York Boat Show. Commander Roger Upton explained in detail the reasons for forming the Boston Yacht Club Power Squadron, and told of what was being accomplished by instructing power yachtsmen about the rules of the road and boat han- dling. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then assis- tant secretary of the Navy, was an honorary member of the Boston Yacht Club. He had observed Power Squadron naval-type drills as a guest aboard Upton's yacht, “Elizabeth” and had been greatly im- Early photo of N.Y. Yacht Club pressed with the activi- Franklin D. Roosevelt ties of the Power Squadron. FDR sent his aide, Captain William F. Fullam, to attend the meeting. Fullam praised the organization in the highest terms possible and complimented the officers for the training they were providing with their naval-type drills. The United States Power Squadrons emerged as a national organization at a 1914 February 2nd meeting. The group elected Roger Upton as its first Chief Commander and Charles F. Chapman, the Editor of Motor Boating Magazine, as its Treasurer. They appointed Rear Admiral DeWitt Coffman, Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard, to the new Governing Board. Later that year, following a joint program of drills and maneuvers involving Power Squadron mem- ber-owned vessels and the U. S. Navy, Adm. Coffman hosted a USPS Governing Board meeting aboard his flagship, “Vir- ginia” (seen on the horizon of this painting by marine artist Donald Demers). Departing For Drills And Maneuvers With Units Of The U.S. Navy -1915. An oil painting by marine artist Donald Demers based on historic data. Page 4 of 9 Arthur J. Tyrer, Deputy Commissioner of Navigation of the Department of Commerce, was also an active member beginning a continuing relationship with the department. The motorboat gained in popularity, and squadrons grew both in number and in size. The United States Power Squadrons was incorporated on 19 February 1915. As the squadrons grew, the in- ternal educational program developed to keep pace. By January 1917, the organization had 477 members in twenty squadrons as it developed its first course dealing with celestial navigation. The popular offering was published in installments in the organization's periodical, The Ensign. World War I The World War threatened to engage the nation and on 6 April l917 the United States declared war on Germany. All Americans became very active in the preparedness movement. Charles F. Chap- man sent a letter to Secretary Roosevelt, volunteering the entire United States Power Squadrons instructional program for the training of men for naval coastal defense. Roosevelt accepted the pro- posal with gratitude. In New York City, The Power Squadrons estab- lished four free nautical schools, enrolling over 3,000 students. Similar schools were organized by squadrons in Boston, De- troit, Newburgh (NY), New Haven and Washington, D.C. Squadron members and over 5,000 of the men who attended these classes entered the armed services and, based in significant on the quality of their Power Squadron training The Post War Period The quality of instruction taught by members greatly expanded in quality. By October 1932, there were 1,431 members in 15 Squadrons. By the end of 1938 there were upwards of 5,000. On 14 January 1939, the organization celebrated its 25th Anniversary at New York's Hotel Astor. In honor of the occasion, President Roosevelt sent a letter of congratulations, greatly praising its civic service. Later that same year, the President accepted honorary membership in USPS, be- stowed upon him by vote of the Governing Board. Page 5 of 9 World War II Once again, the world erupted into war. On 8 December 1941, less than twenty-four hours after the attack on Pearl Har- bor, Power Squadron leadership sent a telegram to President Roosevelt and the Secretary of the Navy offering USPS sup- port for America's war ef- fort. For the second time in 24 years, President Roosevelt accepted this support with appreciation. New York City Power Squadron class during World War 2 During World War II over 3,000 USPS members enlisted in the armed forces, including its chief commander, William Anderson, who was sworn in as a navy lieutenant commander. Once again, Power Squadron night courses mushroomed, and instructors taught navigation and allied subjects in squadron classes. Thousands of members served with the Red Cross, Merchant Marine and other war-related serv- ices, contributing significant assistance to our nation. More than 25 squadrons actively assisted the Coast Guard. Friendly cooperation between the two organizations has been traditional ever since. Post War Growth After the war the organization experienced rapid growth. A Sail course was added in 1953. In May 1959, the national secretary reported 45,000 members in 268 Squadrons. A Marine Electronics course was published in 1961 and by 1966, when Commander Chapman was awarded his 50th an- nual merit mark, the organization had recorded a membership of over 60,000 in 348 Squadrons. From the standpoint of teaching, the Educational Department constantly sought improved course materials and better participation by members. As part of that effort, a new Piloting course was in- troduced followed by Cruise Planning. A further indication of the latest techniques to improve membership knowledge was the Operations Training program and its offshoot, Leadership De- velopment. When today's better-informed members set out to insure their boats, USPS boasts its own marine insurance program with both low rates and sound coverage. To celebrate the 75th anniversary in 1989, five large USPS ensigns traversed the United States and Canada. These ensigns visited every squadron and many units of the Canadian Power Squadrons. Two special ensigns flew on board the NASA shuttle Atlantis and logged 1.6 million miles in their journey over all seven seas between 4 and 8 of that year. Still another went to Moscow. Page 6 of 9 That year President George Bush welcomed the Power Squadrons’ Chief Commander, William D. Selden at a White House ceremony. There the President signed a proclamation honoring USPS. USPS has also been hon- ored by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Proclamation Of The Governors Honoring USPS Pres. George Bush honoring USPS In 2004, to celebrate the Power Squadrons’ Ninetieth Anniversary, Rear Commander Robert Green coordinated an extraordinary national project. Five national proclamations traversed the country and were signed personally by every state and territorial governor recognizing the United States Power Squadrons for their significant national contributions. Other Famous People have also Honored USPS Yes, that is the late Walter Cronkite, one of America’s most respected journalists, aboard his yacht “WYNTJZ” in Martha’s Vineyard. Wal- ter joined USPS in 1961 and always gave credit for his beginning knowledge in sea- manship and navigation to his USPS training. Others who provided support for the programs of USPS were John Wayne, Joey Bishop and Joe Na- math, all avid boaters. Walter Cronkite Aboard his yacht, WYNTJZ. Photo by Peter Simon Page 7 of 9 THE “TALL SHIPS” OF OP SAIL and USPS Since 1976 USPS has been extremely supportive and highly involved in all Op Sails , also known as the Tall Ships. For the Bicentennial celebration, a large international fleet gathered in New York City on the Fourth of July and then in Boston. In each USPS members served important roles. In the 1986 New York City Liberty Week- end, they provided 35 USPS skipper owned boats to serve as water taxis. These impressive nautical parades served to interest several million observers in sailing vessels and boating traditions. Today’s United State Power Squadrons As the squadrons entered the new century, it continued it skilled educational programs. The recent development of the USPS University is the heart of its expanding educational program which now includes thirteen different courses and over eighteen seminars for the public cover- ing every possible area of recreational boating educa- tion. Its long-standing relationship with Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas was further strength- ened when the two groups agreed to cooperate in their courses.The Power Squadrons also maintains close ties to the United States Coast Guard, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administra- tion (NOAA), and the Depart- ment of Homeland Security. With the United States Coast Guard, it developed a Vessel Safety Check Program under federal rules. It provides boaters with free non-punitive examinations of recreational vessels to certify their meeting all required safety standards. In addition it alerts owners with additional safety orientations. Under the Department of Homeland Security the Power Squadrons educate the public about nau- tical security rules. They also play an advisory role to recreational boating clubs concerning sug- gestions about nautical activities that should be reported to authorities. Some squadrons take an active role in security watches. Page 8 of 9 With NOAA’s direction, the organization provides the nation with another crucial service: simply called the “Cooperative Charting Program”. The United States Power Squadrons has become a sig- nificent resource for monitoring nautical chart data. Its members continuously review the location of chart markers, record nautical landmarks and survey all inland and coastal water depths with special electronic data collector programs. In these times of drastic budget cuts this volunteer serv- ice alone is saving the tax payers millions of dollars. Along with these nation-wide services, squadrons provide their local communities with clear boat- ing safety advisories. They work with municipalities, boating clubs and civic groups. They have become the “go to” organization for information and education about boating safety. Conclusion Starting as a club-within-a-club in the early 1900s, and with the encouragement of then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to become a national organization, the United States Power Squadrons today is a private, self-supporting, non-profit boating safety education organi- zation with an in- comparable record of achievement. No other group can boast of more dedicated or more productive volun- teers. Throughout the years, USPS members have given generously of their time and resources to edu- cate each other in all aspects of boat- ing, and to pro- moting the cause of safe boating President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepting Honorary Membership in the United States Power Squadrons in 1939. through public courses and other civic services. We hope you will agree that the 2014 100th Anniversary of the United State Power Squadrons is certainly an occasion worthy of the issuance of a Postal Service commemorative stamp. Page 9 of 9 Stamp Design Recommendation Motorboats To The Rescue - 1912: An oil painting by marine artist Donald Demers, based on the event and magazine articles on the rescue. 1914 - 2014 Teaching the boating public for 100 years. Design Significance The event that brought the power squadron movement to public attention occurred during the summer of 1912. Twenty vessels of the Boston Yacht Club’s new Power Boat Division were invited to join forty windjammers on the club’s annual cruise to Maine. During the cruise a screeching nor'wester blew up causing many sailing yachts to be dismasted or disabled. The power yachts under Roger Upton's command went to their rescue, towing disabled craft to port. No loss of life or sail boats was re- ported. The event was publicized in a six-page article, with accompanying photos of the rescue boats, in Motorboat Magazine. The author was George Hudson Story, a fea- ture writer for the Boston Globe. This article stimulated significant publicity for these Power Boat Division members’ skills A three-page story in Yachting Magazine and further coverage in Motor Boating Magazine, generated additional attention. Yacht clubs in New England, the New York Metropolitan area, and elsewhere began to create their own power squadrons.
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