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The History of the
VPS Waypoints

The Vulcan Power Squadron was initially organized in 1966 as the Birmingham Division of the Huntsville Power Squadron. Most of the first members of the Squadron were boating enthusiasts from the Birmingham Cruising Club and the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club.

James D. Martin was one of the members who was extremely instrumental in getting the squadron formed. . . he had moved to Birmingham in 1959 from the Kingsport Power Squadron. It was while attending a Coast Guard Auxiliary meeting that he met Dr. Paul G. Reque of Birmingham who suggested that Jim commute to Mobile and attend a Mobile Power Squadron meeting where Dr. Reque was also a commuting member.

They did commute to Mobile for a while, but the long 250 miles to Mobile led Jim, in 1961, to become interested and involved with the Birmingham Cruising Club. Jim met other members of the Cruising Club, (Mike Blevins, Louis J. Epps, John E. Kent, James A. Green, Ernest B. Robinson, J. Ralph Weed, and John T. Wildsmith) who shared his interest in USPS.

Their interest in USPS continued, but it was not until several years had passed that progress was made toward forming another squadron. Jim Martin received a call from Jim Argo who was also interested in having a local Power Squadron and who arranged for his company to provide their educational building for a meeting place. It was then that formation of Vulcan began in earnest.

Jim Argo and Paul Reque canvassed the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club members to find USPS participants. These men, along with members of the Birmingham Cruising Club, formed the nucleus of the Vulcan Power Squadron.

The squadron started as a division of Huntsville Power Squadron and remained so until 1968. After an inspection by District Commander H. King McCain of Atlanta, the division was given the necessary papers to form a new squadron. These papers were drawn up with the legal assistance of Stanford J. (Hank) Skinner.

The name, Vulcan Power Squadron, was chosen because it represented the entire Birmingham metropolitan area. The name Birmingham was not used because it had already been selected by the Birmingham Power Squadron in the state of Michigan. Two other names were proposed. Jack McKinstry offered Magic City, and J. Ralph Weed submitted BIRALA.

Vulcan Power Squadron was chartered on 02 July 1968. District officers presided at the presentation of the charter on 01 March 1969. Jim Martin was the first Commander. Jack Epps was elected treasurer, but resigned prior to the chartering and was replaced on the new bridge by Hank Skinner.

In 1978, Vulcan Power Squadron was incorporated by the State of Alabama.

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