The Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles, or Turtle Club is an informal “drinking club” composed of ladies and gentlemen of the highest morals and good character, who are never vulgar. 

Don’t worry, we won’t hold you to any high standards. This tongue in cheek fraternity is about fun and fellowship.

US Air Corp pilots in the 40’s would have long periods of down time and then violent encounters through dog fights and bombing runs. They would gather over a pint between sorties and over time developed the Turtle Club.

Want the back story? I’ll send it right over. 

We respect your email privacy

Denis P. McGowan offers up the background information on his website, including this cool reference I had not found before: 


Turtles are bright eyed, bushy tailed, fearless and unafraid folk with a fighter pilot attitude. They think clean, have fun a lot, and recognize the fact that you never get anyplace in life worthwhile unless you stick your neck out.

The Motivation Behind This Website

You have landed on a website that is the creation of a long time Turtle, Dave Crabill. Dave’s father served in the Air Force in the Korean War and his brother, Mike, joined the Air Force and spent time in England as an avionic tech. Mike handles the technical details of the website. Dave is the marketer. We don’t claim to be an official anything, but a place to gather and have fun. We all need more fun in our lives! With this site we give you tools and inspiration to spread the word!

With that said, we want to share our Turtle Philosophy.

Turtles are hard on the outside, soft on the inside and willing to stick their necks out to get somewhere.

The Turtle Club Ice Breaker

Introducing a stranger to the Turtle Club is best done over a pint, but can be accomplished elsewhere. It is fun to ask the questions and get the same wrong answers from a variety of people. Sometimes you get funny looks!

Visit the Join page to read the riddles and learn the password.

Through this site we want to provide folded Turtle Club Cards and other materials over time to help you be all you can be. But this is about joining together in fellowship, so share your stories and photos and we will post them on our site.

P.S. There is a back story to the password for the Turtle Club. Join our email list and I’ll send it over to you. You are sure to enjoy and we promise to respect your email address and not abuse it in any way.

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.


Check out the Turtle Club cards!
Just buy a stack and we will set you up as an affiliate and send them right over!

Ready to Join? Visit the Join page to get started.

The New Member Bundle is a great way to start!

%d bloggers like this: