The U-54 Wildroot Charlie made its debut for the Detroit-based Gale team as the U-54 Gale IV in 1954. Together with the first GALE V, she was half of one of the most successful two-boat racing teams in the history of the sport. With Bill Cantrell driving, GALE IV won the 1954 Indiana Governor's Cup, the 1954 President's Cup, and the 1955 Detroit Memorial Regatta. Sold to the Buffalo Syndicate in 1957, GALE IV was renamed WILDROOT CHARLIE with sponsorship from Wildroot Cream Oil, a hair product, and raced under that name during 1957-58 seasons out of the Buffalo Launch Club of Grand Island, New York. With Bob Schroeder driving, she finished second in National High Points in 1957 and forth in 1958. It's interesting to note that WILDROOT CHARLIE's former owners (Joe and Lee Schoenith) had a very disappointing 1957 season with GALE V and GALE VI and the boat that they sold finished ahead of them in every race!
In 1958, the Charlie ran in nine races and finished 4th in national high points. It had a best finish of 2nd at St. Clair in Michigan.