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Distinguished Flying Cross (U.S.)

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The Distinguished Flying Cross.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in combat in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The decoration may also be given for an act performed prior to that date when the individual has been recommended for, but has not received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Distinguished Service Medal.

The Distinguished Flying Cross, was authorized by an Act of Congress of July 2, 1926, an act amended by Executive Order 7786 on January 8, 1938. It was awarded first to Captain Charles Lindbergh, of the U.S. Army Corps Reserve, for his solo flight of 3600 miles across the Atlantic in 1927.

The first D.F.C. to be awarded to a Navy man was to Commander Richard E. Byrd, of the U.S. Navy Air Corps, on May 9, 1926, for his flight to and from the North Pole. Both of these aviators also received the Medal of Honor for their feats.

At least two civilians have received the award: Amelia Earhart and Eugene Ely.

During wartime, members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations serving with the United States are eligible for the D.F.C. It is also given to those who display heroism while working as instructors or students at flying schools.

Design

The Distinguished Flying Cross was designed by Elizabeth Will and Arthur E. DuBois. It is a bronze cross pattee, with rays between the arms of the cross. On the obverse is a propeller of four blades, with one blade in each arm of the cross and in the re-entrant angles of the cross are rays which form a square. The cross is suspended by a recatgular-shaped bar and centered on this is a plain shield. The reverse is blank and suitable for engraving the recipients name and rank.

The ribbon has a narrow red center stripe, flanked on either side by a thin white stripe, a wide stripe of dark blue, a narrow white stripe and narrow dark blue at the edge of the ribbon.

Subsequent awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross are indicated by oak leaf clusters, for Army and Air Force personnel, and by award stars for members of the Naval services.

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