Ancient & Honorable Order of Turtles

Born out of a chaotic period of time, the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles is a drinking fraternity full of laughter and fun. There are a few stewards of the rich history that we will reference. The organization can be as ordered and organized as you desire.

Let’s get into the origin.

Here is an excerpt from

According to Denis P. McGowan of the “Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles”, his father, the late Captain Hugh P. McGowan, U.S. Army Air Corps/U.S. Air Force Reserve (Ret.) and several pilots of the U.S. Army Air Corps 8th Air Force founded the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles in an officers’ club while stationed in England during the Second World War: “We were flying daytime bombing missions over Hitler’s Third Reich. We just wanted a little fun. We had seen a sign showing that the ‘Ancient Order of Foresters‘ and the ‘Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes‘ would meet in the local pub, so I devised the name ‘Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles’ for the fun of it. It was not meant to be serious, it had no constitution or by-laws, and was a relief from the horrors and dangers we saw every day on our missions. It spread after the War through the VFW and American Legion posts, and eventually, to Masonic groups, colleges and even to the high schools of the U.S.A.”[2]

Other groups claim an earlier origin, but documentation is lacking.


Some Origin Stories From Turtles in Our Pond

I joined the Order of Turtles back in 1971 or 72 when I was stationed at Fort Carson Colorado.  Roy

Joined many, many years ago when I was in sales and traveled a lot. Richard

I was sponsored in 1967 by Clarence Wolf Jr. I would like to sponsor a few new members.  Barbara

I have been a Turtle for about 37 years. My ex-grandmother was an Imperial Turtle.  Pamala

While visiting the tiny city of North Pole, Alaska situated 18 miles north of Fairbanks. my daughter Debra said, “Look Dad, you can become a Turtle here at this bar!” This Master Chief USN/USNR Korean War vet slide off his bar stool and said, “Fire when ready Gridley!.” I passed, got my card and will use this Turtle sight to obtain a few more cards. RMCM Frank

Share Your Origin Story

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Webmaster of Turtle Club US
My dad, Don Crabill, was initiated into the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles while in the US Air Force. He served in Korea during the 1950’s. The tradition spread from the military into general aviation where his career in avionics sales took him all over the world.

Sometime in the 70’s, I was initiated. I’ve procured many a Turtle over the years and I’ve met some cool Turtles just by chance. On a date, with Sue, I asked her if she was a Turtle and not surprisingly, she gave the password! We were both a little surprised at the time and we were married about a year later – in 1984! Wow, time flies!

Like a lot of things, Turtle Club was put on the back burner as we raised our Rocket Scientist son, Jacob. (PHD from Stanford in Aeronautics and Astronautics – I’m a dad, I have to brag)

Then some time about 2014 I ran into Chris Hamiltion from Old Newsboys of Flint. Chris is a big guy, can’t miss him. Former UM Football champ. Executive Director of Old Newsboys who helps thousands of kids at Christmas each year. Chris procures Turtles like no one I’ve ever met. He has out paced even Past Imperial status. I wanted to show Chris my old membership card from my dad and discovered that it was missing!

The need for a replacement membership card. That is the inspiration for this site. You see I run a small marketing agency and designing and printing cards was right in my wheel house. So I bought a box of 1,000 folded cards and made them available and started meeting amazing people. The cards sold quicly, so I ordered more and added a few more items. We keep adding more as the ideas from our Pond come in.

While I don’t claim any ownership or special status within the organization, I take pride in helping many procure more Turtles. Join the Turtle Club US Pond and help us bring more laughter into the world!


Turtle drawn by my talented nephew, Ben Lew.
You can find his work here.

Stick Your Neck Out To Help

As we work to procure more Turtles, we can do good for our community. Members earn commissions on purchases that can be shared with the charity of your choice. When you Join we set you up as a Member with a unique membership number.

Before you shop, click this link for the proceeds of your purchase to benefit Old Newsboys of Flint. Or if you have a sponsor, ask them for their unique Member number and add it to the end of the website like this: (#=the member number)

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