Famous Order of the Turtles Members

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Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles members list

List of Famous Order of the Turtle Members ranked by fame and popularity. The Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles is a drinking club for World War II pilots, who were looking for a way to relax between missions. The Turtles follow the creed “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 any place in life worthwhile unless you stick your neck out.”

Who is the most famous member of the Order of the Turtle? President John F. Kennedy confirmed his membership to the world when a reporter asked him, “Are you a turtle?” Kennedy replied with the revealing response, “I'll buy you your drink later.” The proper answer to the question, “Are you a turtle?” is actually, “You bet your sweet ass I am.”

Astronauts Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton famously traded the question over worldwide broadcasts. Schirra turned off the open line radio to deliver the proper response and responded with “roger” on the main line. Slayton was a bit more bold with his answer as he openly gave the proper response on board the USS Kearsarge. Slayton's response was recalled in Tom Wolfe's famous book “The Right Stuff.”

Do you think it would be fun to be in the Order of the Turtle? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by initials JFK and Jack, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1940, before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 46 (1917-1963)
    • Birthplace: USA, Massachussetts, Brookline
  • Wally Schirra
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Walter Marty Schirra Jr. (, March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007) (Captain, USN, Ret.) was an American naval aviator and NASA astronaut. In 1959, he became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, which was the United States' first effort to put human beings into space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7. At the time of his mission in Sigma 7, Schirra became the fifth American and ninth human to travel into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1923-2007)
    • Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey
  • Deke Slayton
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton (March 1, 1924 – June 13, 1993) was an American World War II pilot, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot who was selected as one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts, and became NASA's first Chief of the Astronaut Office and Director of Flight Crew Operations, and was responsible for NASA crew assignments. Slayton joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, and flew in Europe and the Pacific. He left the Army after World War II, and later joined the Minnesota Air National Guard after working for Boeing as an aeronautical engineer. He joined the United States Air Force, and attended the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1955. In 1959, he applied ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 69 (1924-1993)
    • Birthplace: Sparta, Wisconsin
  • Ed Buckbee