Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl
This organization was founded in 1977 in Long Beach, California as a fraternal association of past and present Coast Guard aviators and then was soon expanded to all persons who had honorably served under official flight orders in Coast Guard aircraft, including personnel of other military services and foreign governments who had flown with the Coast Guard while involved in exchange programs. Associate membership is now extended to those persons holding interest in support and furtherance of Coast Guard Aviation goals. The organization was deemed an Ancient Order because of the involvement of personnel of the Lifesaving Service, forerunners of Coast Guardsmen, in the successful endeavors of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903, thus extending the Coast Guard's aerial roots back to the very beginning of powered flight. The Pterodactyl was chosen as the organizational symbol because it, like Coast Guard airmen, was unique, little-recognized for its accomplishments, but highly respected by all who experienced its professional attention.
The purposes and objectives of the Ancient Order are:
1. To support Coast Guard Aviation and its goals, and to promote interest in such matters external to the service.
2. To actively contribute to the enlargement and perpetuation of the history of Coast Guard Aviation and the
recognition thereof, both internally and in areas external to the service.
3. To maintain informational liaison between present and
past members of the Coast Guard Aviation establishment.
4. To promote social contact and camaraderie between all Coast Guard Aviation personnel and supporters of Coast Guard Aviation through periodic gatherings, fraternal in nature, both national and regional in scope.
Major effort is made by the Ancient Order in contributing to aviation museums and displays to preserve historical aircraft and artifacts to tell the story of Coast Guard Aviation. The Coast Guard exhibit in the National Museum of Naval Aviation is a prime Pterodactyl project in this direction. The display has been largely enhanced with aircraft, memorabilia, and funds contributed by the organization since the incorporation of the exhibit into the Museum. Its continued growth is a major goal of the Ancient Order in the perpetuation of Coast Guard Aviation history.