The Distinguished Flying Cross is a four-bladed propeller, about 1 5/8 inches across, superimposed over a bronze pattee cross, with five rays forming a one-inch square emerging from the reentrant angles of the cross. The medal is suspended from a rectangular bar. The ribbon is striped with vertical bands of red, white, and blue.

Criteria for Award

According to PERSCOM, the Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded "to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight...The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from his comrades or from other persons in similar circumstances." Rather than the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross must be awarded for single, outstanding acts of heroism, rather than for sustained and ongoing service.

History and Notable Recipients

The Distinguished Flying Cross was established in July 1926 by the Air Corps Act. It provided for the possibility of retroactive award back until 1917. The medal was designed by Arthur E. Dubois and Elizabeth Will, whose design was selected by the Commission of Fine Arts.

Notable recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross:

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