Distinguished Flying Cross Medal
Service: All Services
Instituted: 1926 (retroactive to 6 April 1917)
Distinguished Flying Cross Criteria
Distinguished Flying Cross Medal Criteria: Heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight
Devices: Army/Air Force: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Letter “V” (Air Force),
Navy/Marine Corps: Bronze Letter “V” (for valor), Gold, Silver Star; Coast Guard: Gold, Silver Star
Authorized on July 2, 1926 and implemented by an executive order signed by President Calvin Coolidge on January 28, 1927. It is awarded to United States military personnel for heroism or extraordinary achievement that is clearly distinctive involving operations during aerial flight that are not routine. It is the first decoration authorized in identical design and ribbon to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Captain Charles A. Lindbergh was the first recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for his solo flight across the Atlantic. The Wright Brothers were awarded the DFC by an Act of Congress for their first manned flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Amelia Earhart became the only female civilian to be awarded the DFC when it was presented to her by the United States Army Air Corps for her aerial exploits. Such awards to civilians were prohibited on March 1, 1927 by Executive Order 4601.
While the Distinguished Flying Cross was never intended to be an automatic award, the Army Air Force did use it in that capacity many times during World War II by awarding DFCs for specific number of sorties and flying hours in a combat theater.
The front of the military medal is a four-bladed propeller contained within a bronze cross suspended from a straight bar attached to the medal drape. The reverse is blank and provides space for the recipient’s name and date of the award. The ribbon is blue with a narrow stripe of red bordered by white in the center. The ribbon edges are outlined with bands of white inside blue. Additional awards are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters or gold and silver stars depending on the recipient’s Service Branch.
Customers need to contact a Military Awards Specialist at 800-308-0849 to purchase the Distinguished Flying Cross. Medals of America also offers military medals mounted for wear and a great selection of military ribbons.Distinguished Flying Cross Medal,