History of the United States Power Squadrons® – USPS®
USPS® is the world’s largest private boating organization.
Started as a club-within-a-club in the early 1900s, USPS® today is a private, self-supporting, non-profit, fraternal boating organization with an incomparable record of achievement. No other enterprise can boast of more dedicated or more productive members— people who have given generously of their time and resources to educate each other in all aspects of boating, and to promote the cause of safe boating through public courses and other civic services.
A roster of seven squadrons in 1914 has now grown to well over 400 units operating in the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Japan. A parallel organization, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, with which we maintain close cooperation, flourishes in Canada.
Vessel ownership is not a requirement. No member on any level is paid for Squadron services which he/she performs. There are no barriers to membership on the grounds of race, religion,
or ethnic background.
History of the Detroit Power Squadron – DPS
On 16 September 1916, by General Order No. 11, Detroit Power Squadron was formed.
During the war years, the squadrons ran schools to train men for naval merchant marines, and armed guard services, and they practiced naval maneuvers by flag signals.
Following World War, I, interest in the work of USPS fell off. By 1935, there were only 14 or 15 squadrons in existence with about 700 members. The Detroit Power Squadron was kept alive primarily by two of its original members, R.S. Gehlert, Sr., the last duly elected commander, and R.S. Gehlert, his son, secretary of the original squadron.
In 1935, a gentleman by the name of William K. Anderson came on the Detroit scene. A number of Richardson cruisers were being purchased from a Leonard Thompson. When Anderson discovered how little use was being made of boats in this area, he agreed to organize and guide cruises to various points in Canada and the United States. It soon became apparent there was an almost total lack of piloting skill and navigational knowledge in the area.
Between Leonard Thompson and William Anderson, classes were given in the back room of Thompson’s boat business. Soon the facility became too small and the classes were moved to the Detroit Yacht Club. The DYC has been the home of Detroit Power Squadron since 1936.
America’s Boating Club® – Did you know that the Detroit Power Squadron is now also known as “America’s Boating Club of Detroit” & the United States Power Squadrons® is also now known as “America’s Boating Club®”. The branding was added in 2018 to enhance our reach within the community. The new branding also helps like-minded people, looking for boating groups, to locate us online via their browsers and social media outlets.
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USPS & Detroit Power Squadron History