Leroy S. Hulan ~ Outer Banks Life Saving Stations

27 Mar

Recently, I was contacted by Dr. Richard H. Hulan, a retired folklorist of Springfield, Virginia, who had found our new blog from a link on the “Lost Colony Research Group” blog. In 1944, his Father, LeRoy S. Hulan, traveled the sand roads and paths of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, serving as Chaplain for the Coast Guardsmen who manned the U.S. Life Saving Stations. Richard has graciously offered to share his father’s US Navy photograph collection with us. Enjoy…

Leroy S. Hulan

Information below, provided by Dr. Richard H. Hulan.

In 1944, my late dad was the USNR Chaplain assigned to the Coast Guard lifeboat stations of the 5th Naval District, which ran from Ocean City, MD to the Cape Hatteras vicinity. It included several stations in your area of interest, e.g. Big and Little Kinnakeet. He was given a jeep, a timetable for meeting ferries when necessary, and photos of the stations (so he’d know where to stop and hold a service). The job was sort of like being a circuit rider.

My dad was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee in 1910. He was educated at Vanderbilt, Transylvania, and the College of the Bible (now Lexington Theological Seminary) in Kentucky. During his WWII Navy service, he went by LeRoy S. Hulan, so his initials were L.S. His mother (who lived until 1970) later informed him that they had actually named him Lee Roy Snyder Hulan, not LeRoy. For the rest of his adult life he was only called Roy S. Hulan. He was a well known minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with pastorates in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He was on the denomination’s Chaplaincy Endorsement Commission for many years, between the 1950s and 1970s, and was a trustee of Lexington Theological Seminary (in KY). He died in Murfreesboro, TN in 1991. My brother and I were born in 1936 and 1939, respectively; so we have childhood memories of the war period that include the way this Jeep would launch us off the seat, when he drove over a “camel’s back” on the coastal highway (i.e., the beach).

Leroy S. Hulan

Leroy S. Hulan, sitting in the front passenger seat of his trusty, military issued, Jeep. Photographer unknown. Taken somewhere on Hatteras Island, NC. Year ~ 1944.

Leroy S. Hulan

Leroy S. Hulan, standing beside Jeep w/ back turned. Photographer unknown. Taken somewhere on Hatteras Island, NC. Year ~ 1944.

Caffey’s Inlet Life Saving Station ~ Duck, NC.

Paul Gamiel Hills, NC ~ Located in what is now Seacrest Village. Burned down in 1960. Now just a sand hill.

Kitty Hawk Life Saving Station, NC.

Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station, NC.

Nags Head Life Saving Station, NC.

Bodie Island Observation Tower, NC.

Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station, NC.

Pea Island Life Saving Station, NC.

Chicamacomico Life Saving Station ~ Rodanthe, NC.

Little Kinnakeet Life Saving Station, NC.

Big Kinnakeet Life Saving Station, NC.

RDF Station ~ Buxton, NC

Cape Hatteras Life Saving Station ~ Buxton, NC.

Hatteras Inlet Life Saving Station, NC.

Ocracoke Lighthouse Keepers Quarters, NC.

Cape Lookout Life Saving Station, NC.

Fort Macon Life Saving Station, NC.

Swansboro Lifeboat Station ~ Station Office ~ New, Swansboro, NC


23 responses to “Leroy S. Hulan ~ Outer Banks Life Saving Stations

  1. Linda

    March 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    What wonderful photos.

  2. Philip Howard

    April 12, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Dawn, this is Philip Howard from Ocracoke. I will be coming to the pot luck dinner & meeting tomorrow. Looking forward to it. The photos are great. I am wondering if I could copy and use the one of the Hatteras Inlet LSS. My great-grandfather, James Howard, was keeper there from it’s establishment in 1883 until 1903. In case there is any confusion, the station was on the Ocracoke side of Hatteras Inlet. Today, of course, it’s on the Hatteras side. One more thing — the photo labeled Ocracoke Life Saving Station is actually the keeper’s quarters for the Ocracoke Lighthouse. The USLSS was located where the NCAAT building is today (near the Cedar Island/Swan Quarter ferry terminals.

    • Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society

      April 12, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Hi Philip. I look forward to seeing you there. Actually thought of you yesterday and wondered if you were still planning on attending.
      Dick Hulan, who shared the photos with HIGS, will be at the meeting tomorrow night. I’ll introduce you and let you ask him for copying
      privileges. And thanks for the correction on the Ocracoke Station. I’ll make that change.

    • Ellen Fulcher Cloud

      January 20, 2012 at 1:11 am

      Phillip, You are right about the Hatteras Inlet station being on Ocracoke Side of the inlet, but the station at Hatteras was then and still is the Hatteras Station, never was known as Hatteras Inlet Station.

  3. Cheryl and Bruce Roberts

    October 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    These are fabulous images. I had not seen some of these stations while others are taken from a perspective that is unique. Great!

  4. Jeff

    August 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Is there any way that copies of these photos may be made available to some non-profits that focus on Coast Guard history and Life Saving Service History? Please let me know, Jeff

  5. Richard Hulan

    November 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Just stopping by for Veterans Day. I’ve tried to contact that Jeff about my dad’s photos, but haven’t heard back. I have the whole 5th Naval District, not just the NC lifeboat stations posted here. (Some of them were in VA and MD.)

  6. Richard Hulan

    November 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Maybe an update, or something? When we discussed it in March of 2011 this site was new, and its focus seemed to be limited to the OBX south of the VA state line. In 1944 when my dad had that assignment, we lived in Virginia Beach. But the majority of the stations he served were in NC.

  7. Jasper Wiliams

    November 18, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Awesome Thanks.

  8. Ed Burgess

    December 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Are there any photographs of the Portsmouth Island Life Saving Station available?

  9. Richard Hulan

    December 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Not in my dad’s collection. About the only other info I see is that Homer S. Gray, CBM, was in charge of the Ocracoke group. (A Chief Boatswain’s Mate is now called BMC.) There was an amphibious base and a Coast Guard station, as well as Hatteras Inlet and Portsmouth Island, in this group. It appears that the host station on an island took care of his transportation to any outliers, so he didn’t need a photograph to find them, and the Navy didn’t give him one.

  10. Sheila Grandy

    August 12, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Hello, your old photographs are amazing and I would appreciate if possible being contacted by Dr. Richard Hulan about copying one of his life saving station photos with proper credits to his father. Thank you.

    • Richard Hulan

      August 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      If it’s one of the NC stations, they weren’t copied at quite as high resolution as the ones in VA and MD; I got a better camera in the meantime. If you need very high res for enlargement, I can do that. The photos were taken by one or more Navy photographers, not my late dad, and I don’t think I have any proprietary interest in them (such as copyright ownership).

      • Sheila Grandy

        August 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

        Thanks so much for a prompt reply, Richard. I am interested in the one of the Caffey’s Inlet Life Saving Station for a little book I’m putting together of a shipwreck there in 1920. I would still like to credit your father in the additional notes in the back for being a caretaker of the photos – and because his history there as a Chaplain is worthy to be remembered. I’m away for awhile today but will check back later. God bless.

      • Edward Burgess

        August 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        We wish you had a picture of the Pprtsmouth NC LSS. Ed Burgess

        Sent from my iPhone

      • Sheila Grandy

        August 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        Richard, could you contact me off this list? I would like to credit Navy photographers through your father for saving the photo of the Caffey’s Inlet Station. Please let me know is this would be acceptable. Thank you.

      • Richard Hulan

        August 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        OK, if you wish, and this thing tells you how, email me. It doesn’t tell me your address.

      • Sheila Grandy

        August 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        Hi Richard,

        Your message arrived in my email account at grandy319 at (I intentionally did not use the @ symbol in case the message also displays on the blog.)

        Here it goes!

  11. susan rose

    June 18, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I found a wonderful story in detail, by type righter letter written by Vincent M. Chapman and a photo September 1958, Big Kinnnakeet Station, the photo is in perfect condition the building is in disrepair looking foreboding and the clouds are magnificent.

    I an sleepy so this is all I can do; p[ease respond.

    Susan Rose

  12. Lou Quinn

    December 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Love these pictures – thanks so much for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: