The History of The Tacoma Power Squadron

The Tacoma Power Squadron was chartered on August 22nd, 1939.  Tacoma was the first Squadron in the Pacific Northwest, and the first Squadron on the west coast.   Tacoma was responsible for sponsoring three new Squadrons within District 16.   They are the Bremerton Power Squadron which received their charter on June 4th, 1952.  The Olympia Power Squadron which received their charter in 1954.   Agate Pass Power Squadron which received their charter on January 9th, 1956.   District 16 is made up of 17 Squadrons, Agate Pass-Bellevue-Bellingham-Bremerton-Deception Pass-Everett-Friday Harbor-North Olympic-Olympia-Possession Sound-Poverty Bay-Point Wilson-Seattle-Skagit Bay-Spokane and Tacoma.   The United States Power Squadron® (USPS)® is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.  USPS® oversees 33 Districts and 440+ Squadrons located through out the United States. 

The Wilmington (Delaware) Power Squadron in District 5 was chartered by USPS in April, 1938.  The first Wilmington Commander, William Kiler, was an official for the DuPont Company and was stationed in Tacoma.

Mr. Kiler, working under the leadership of Chief Commander Arthur Middleton, assisted members of the Tacoma Yacht Club to form a power squadron.  The Tacoma Power Squadron was chartered in 1939, thus becoming the first squadron west of the Mississippi.

Mr. Kiler and Thomas J. Firth, Chief in charge of the local Coast Guard group, lent their energies to getting an elementary piloting course completed.

In spite of obstacles and delays, eleven men qualified and made formal request for a charter which was granted August 22, 1939.


Victor England

Lorenzo Mansfield

Bert Bradley

Charles G. Martin

Edward C. Cooney

Ralph Peterson

Albert L. Hale, Jr.

Theodore W. Worthington

Clyde M. Hunt

Robert C. Bourdon

Ivan J. Leonard


 The membership was somewhat depleted during the war years and the home guard had difficulty holding the organization together. Tacoma’s sister squadron, Bremerton, received its charter on June 4, 1952.  In 1952, Bremerton’s first class, taught by Earl Riebow and Harvey Johnson (both of the Tacoma Squadron), graduated 11 students.  Tacoma’s other sister squadron, Olympia, was chartered in 1954.