Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl History

Andrew Wall

George Thometz

Gus Shrode

Norm Horton

The organization called the Ancient Order of The Pterodactyl is the result of the hopes, aspirations and hard work of a small band of kindred spirits. In the spring of 1977, Andrew Wall, George F. Thometz, Marion ‘Gus’ Shrode, and Norman L. Horton, all retired Coast Guard aviators, informally organized a fraternal association open to all pilots who had flown or were flying Coast Guard aircraft. The organization was later expanded to included all personnel who flew in Coast Guard aircraft under official orders. Only those who have willfully placed themselves in harms way and have known that innermost feeling which comes from the personal experience which results in the saving of life or property can understand the bonding and uniqueness of Coast Guard aviation crewmembers.
Only those who have willfully placed themselves in harms way and have known that innermost feeling which comes from the personal experience which results in the saving of life or property can understand the bonding and uniqueness of Coast Guard aviation crew members.
The Order is established as a non-profit fraternal organization and is operated within the circumscribed By-Laws of its constitution. Each year, members of the organization ‘Gather’ at a site chosen by consensus of the members. The first ‘Gathering’ now known as a “Roost” was held at the Naval Station Officer’s Club in Long Beach. That gathering was a signal that big things were to come. Since then annual conventions have been held each year at different places around the country. See Activities for past Roosts.

From that humble beginning in 1977, today’s organization has grown to over 1200 members. Membership is comprised of active duty Officers and Enlisted, retired and former Coast Guard Aviation personnel, and supporters, who are actively engaged in the pursuit of all of its objectives. Considerable emphasis has been placed on recognizing the accomplishements of our current Active Duty Aviation Force, and continuing the enlargement and perpetuation of Coast Guard aviation history within the service, and continuing to support Coast Guard Aviation at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, and at other appropriate museums.