History of our Flotilla

History of
Lake Barkley Flotilla

Lake Barkley Flotilla 87 was formed as a result of the efforts of several individuals including H. S. “Stan” White of Cadiz Kentucky. Another was Shirley T. Johnson, a charter member of Flotilla 85, who spoke at a meeting of the Rotary in Cadiz. A class in Boating Skills and Seamanship was conducted by members of her flotilla in Aurora, Kentucky, and students of that class were interested in organizing a group on Lake Barkley.

From that class were Dr. Thornton E. Bryan, Jr., Thomas M. George, Gerald D. Turley, Billy Dawson and Robert L. Lewis. They joined as members of Flotilla 85, but were intent on bringing the message of boating safely to the eastern side of the lakes. Their mission was to organize an Auxiliary flotilla to serve Lake Barkley. Dr. Bryan led the effort to recruit others, and was elected the first Flotilla Commander at ceremonies held at the Lake Barkley State Resort Park (known as Lake Barkley Lodge) 25 October 1997. Thomas M. George of Salem, Kentucky was elected Flotilla Vice Commander.

The original charter signed by Timothy W. Josiah, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, shows eighteen charter members: Thornton E. Bryan, D. Gayle White, Joseph L. Fabian, Thomas M. George, Kathy E. Dietrich, Caryl K. Fabian, Francis Rieber, Leota F. Logan, Patricia H. Finney, Gerald D. Turley, Bennie J. Logan, John P. Finney, Robert L. Lewis, Ann E. Williamson, Carol A. Turley, Henry S. White, Elsie Vinson, and Dannye J. Wagner. Billy Dawson was added in recorded documents.

Over seventy attended the charter dinner. Ceremonies were conducted by William W. Andres, the Division Captain. The charter was presented by U.S. Coast Guard Commander P. L. Stephenson, the Director of Auxiliary Eighth District Eastern Region. Gordon W. Scholz, District Commodore of the Auxiliary Eighth District Eastern Region, administered the pledge of office for the new officers. Other dignitaries included Commodore Jerry VanHeltebrake, an Auxiliary national staff officer, several U.S. Coast Guard representatives, officers of the Auxiliary District, Division and Flotillas, radio station WKDZ reporters and a Hopkinsville television Channel 43 news crew.

In 2000, our group worked with Flotillas 83, 85, 8-9 and 8-10 to host the district conference when it was held in Paducah, Kentucky. In August the Commandant of The U. S. Coast Guard, Admiral James M. Loy visited the Marine Safety Office In Paducah. That same summer, two of our members, Elaine Murphy and David Nalley were married.

The following year, Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District Rear Admiral Roy J. Casto was at MSO Paducah. Charter member Francis Rieber had marked over forty years as an Auxiliary member, and several of us witnessed as ADM Casto presented him a special commemorative coin.

None of us will forget 2001 and the events that led to our group becoming part of The Department of Homeland Security. We have also been saddened by the death of William W. “Captain Bill” Andres and his wife Barbara, as well as member Joe Fabian.

Since 1997, we have participated in all aspects of the Auxiliary programs, with members becoming qualified as crew, coxswain, vessel examiners, instructors, aids verifiers, and held division, district, and national staff offices. By November of 2003, some of our members formed Flotilla 8-11 to serve the northern area of Lake Barkley.

Flotilla Commanders following Dr. Bryan were Gerald D. Turley (2000 – 2001), Stan White (2002 – 2003), David Nalley (2004 – 2005). As of January, 2006, Flotilla 87 has nineteen members and three more in the vetting process. Six charter members remain: Francis Rieber, Gerald D. Turley, Dannye J. Wagner, D. Gayle White, H. S. “Stan” White, and myself.

Dated 5 January 2006

Carol Turley, FC 87