The New Orleans Power Squadron was chartered as a unit of the United States Power Squadron on 27 December 1939. Only 4 months earlier Britain and France declared war on Germany. The "Moving Finger" was recording a series of events that were occurring throughout the world, including some particularly unpleasant ones in Europe.
Mr. George Rappleyea resided in Baltimore where he was a member of the Patapsco River Squadron. This squadron -- chartered in 1916 -- is presently one of 24 squadrons in District 5. As of 1 April 1964 it had a recorded membership of 626. Mr. Rappleya moved to New Orleans to work at the A. J. Higgins ship building organization.
He soon saw the need for boating education in New Orleans, and began teaching piloting to a group of 39 men. Of the 39, 21 became charter members of the New Orleans squadron. Although the charter is dated 27 December 1939, it was formally presented to the membership by P/C/C Henry A. Jackson of the New York Power Squadron on 5 January 1940. The presentation took place on the porch of the Southern Yacht Club, at a breakfast. As of 1964 four of the charter members were on the membership rolls.
Only two short years later, the United States was also at war. Thousands of landlubbers had become sailors and were in need of training. United States Power Squadrons supplied the piloting course materials and the New Orleans Power Squadron supplied the instructors, teaching some 500 men per week. This effort went on for seven months. An estimated 15,000 men took the course in New Orleans.
From the October 1964 issue of "Topside Talk" celebrating the 50th anniversary of USPS and 25th anniversary of NOPS.