|Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Awarded for||... exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy in the air.|
|Presented by||United Kingdom and Commonwealth|
|Eligibility||British, Commonwealth, and allied forces|
|Established||3 June 1918|
|Total||To 2017: 22,322 crosses; 1,737 bars|
|Order of Wear|
|Next (higher)||Military Cross|
|Next (lower)||Air Force Cross|
|Related||Distinguished Flying Medal|
The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers, and since 1993 to other ranks, of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".
The award was established on 3 June 1918, shortly after the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), with the Royal Warrant published on 5 December 1919.It was originally awarded to RAF commissioned and warrant officers, including officers in Commonwealth and allied forces. In March 1941 eligibility was extended to Naval Officers of the Fleet Air Arm, and in November 1942 to Army officers, including Royal Artillery officers serving on attachment to the RAF as pilots-cum-artillery observers. Posthumous awards were permitted from 1979.
Since the 1993 review of the honours system as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in bravery awards, all ranks of all arms of the Armed Forces have been eligible, and the Distinguished Flying Medal, which had until then been awarded to other ranks, was discontinued.While remaining a reward for "flying in active operations against the enemy", the requirement was changed from "valour, courage or devotion to duty" to "exemplary gallantry".
The DFC had also been awarded by Commonwealth countries but by the 1990s most, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, had established their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honours.
The DFC now serves as the third-level award for all ranks of the British Armed Forces for exemplary gallantry in active operations against the enemy in the air, not to the standard required to receive the Victoria Cross or the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.Apart from honorary awards to those serving with allied forces, all awards of the DFC are announced in the London Gazette .
A bar is added to the ribbon for holders of the DFC who received a further award, with a silver rosette worn on the ribbon when worn alone to denote the award of each bar.
Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "DFC".
The decoration, designed by Edward Carter Preston, 2.125 inches (54.0 mm) wide. The horizontal and bottom bars are terminated with bumps, the upper bar with a rose. The decoration's face features aeroplane propellers, superimposed on the vertical arms of the cross, and wings on the horizontal arms. In the centre is a laurel wreath around the RAF monogram, surmounted by a heraldic Imperial Crown.is a cross flory,
The reverse is plain, except for a central roundel bearing the reigning monarch's cypher and the date '1918'. Originally awarded unnamed, from 1939 the year of issue was engraved on the reverse lower limb of cross,and since 1984 it has been awarded named to the recipient.
The suspender is straight and decorated with laurel wreaths.
The ribbon bar denoting a further award is silver, with the Royal Air Force eagle in its centre. Bars awarded during World War II have the year of award engraved on the reverse.
The 1.25-inch (32 mm) ribbon was originally white with deep purple broad horizontal stripes, but it was changed in 1919 to the current white with purple broad diagonal stripes.
|Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon bars|
|DFC||DFC and Bar||DFC and Two Bars|
From 1918 to 2017 approximately 22,322 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 1,737 bars have been awarded. The figures to 1979 are laid out in the table below,the dates reflecting the relevant entries in the London Gazette:
|Period||Crosses||1st bar||2nd bar|
|World War I||1918–19||1,045||62||3|
|World War II||1939–45||20,354||1,550||42|
In addition, between 1980 and 2017 approximately 80 DFCs have been earned, including awards for the Falklands and the wars in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.In addition, two second-award, and one third-award bar have been awarded.
The above figures include awards to the Dominions:
In all, 4,460 DFCs have gone to Canadians, including 256 first bars and six second bars. Of these, 193 crosses and nine first bars were for service with the RAF in World War I. For World War II, 4,018 DFCs with 213 first bars and six second bars were earned by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with a further 247 crosses and 34 first bars to Canadians serving with the RAF.
From 1918 to 1972 the DFC was awarded to 2,391 Australians, along with 144 first Bars and five second Bars.
Over 1,000 DFCs were awarded to New Zealanders during the World War II, with the most recent awards for service in Vietnam. In 1999 the DFC was replaced by the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration.
A total of 1,022 honorary awards have been made to members of allied foreign forces. This comprises 46 for World War I, 927 with 34 first and three second award bars for World War II, eight with three bars to members of the US Air Force for the Korean War,and one to the US Marine Corps during the Iraq War.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 it has been awarded specifically for 'highly successful command and leadership during active operations', with all ranks being eligible.
The Distinguished Conduct Medal, post-nominal letters DCM, was established in 1854 by Queen Victoria as a decoration for gallantry in the field by other ranks of the British Army. It is the oldest British award for gallantry and was a second level military decoration, ranking below the Victoria Cross, until its discontinuation in 1993 when it was replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. The medal was also awarded to non-commissioned military personnel of other Commonwealth Dominions and Colonies.
The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is a third-level military decoration awarded to officers; and, since 1993, ratings and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and the British Merchant Navy have been included. Additionally, the award was formerly awarded to members of other Commonwealth countries.
The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) was a military decoration awarded until 1993 to personnel of the Royal Navy and members of the other services, and formerly to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, up to and including the rank of Chief Petty Officer, for bravery and resourcefulness on active service at sea.
The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.
The Air Force Cross (AFC) is a military decoration awarded to officers, and since 1993 other ranks, of the United Kingdom Armed Forces, and formerly also to officers of the other Commonwealth countries. It is granted for "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry while flying, though not in active operations against the enemy". A bar is added to the ribbon for holders who are awarded a further AFC.
The Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other arms of the armed forces, and to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land. The award was established in 1916, with retrospective application to 1914, and was awarded to other ranks for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire". The award was discontinued in 1993 when it was replaced by the Military Cross, which was extended to all ranks, while other Commonwealth nations instituted their own award systems in the post war period.
The Air Force Medal (AFM) was a military decoration, awarded to personnel of the Royal Air Force and other British Armed Forces, and formerly to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying, though not in active operations against the enemy". The award was discontinued in 1993 when all ranks became eligible for the Air Force Cross (AFC) as part of the reform of the British honours system.
The Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Royal Air Force and other British Armed Forces, and formerly to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for "exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". The award was discontinued in 1993 when all ranks became eligible for the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) as part of the reform of the British honours system.
The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) was, until 1993, a British military decoration for gallantry in action for petty officers and seamen of the Royal Navy, including Warrant Officers and other ranks of the Royal Marines. It was formerly awarded to personnel of other Commonwealth countries. In 1943 a Royal Air Force version was created for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy in the air.
Wing Commander Lance Cleo "Wildcat" Wade DSO, DFC & Two Bars was an American pilot who joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War and became a flying ace. He remained with RAF until his death in a flying accident in 1944 in Italy. He was described as a "distinguished American fighter ace who epitomized perhaps more than any other American airman the wartime accords between Britain and the United States".
Air Marshal Sir Thomas Melling Williams, was an ace pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, scoring nine aerial victories, and a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and the following years.
The Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, formerly the King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air, was a merit award for flying service awarded by the United Kingdom between 1942 and 1994.
Flight Lieutenant Michelle Jayne Goodman DFC is a retired Royal Air Force officer. She was the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), for her actions while serving in Iraq, and the first female officer to be awarded any British combat gallantry medal.
Air Commodore Peter Malam "Pete" Brothers, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and flying ace of the Second World War. Brothers was credited with 16 aerial victories, 10 of which he achieved during the Battle of Britain.
Wing Commander John Robert Baldwin, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and the top scoring fighter ace flying the Hawker Typhoon exclusively during the Second World War. He was posted missing, presumed killed, during secondment service with the United States Air Force in the Korean War.
Dudley Lloyd-Evans, was a Welsh-born soldier, airman and flying ace. After being decorated for his infantry service during the First World War, he transferred to aviation, was credited with eight official aerial victories, and again won military honours for his valour. He remained in the Royal Air Force until the end of the Second World War.
Air Vice Marshal Edward Dixon Crew, was a Royal Air Force officer and a nightfighter ace of the Second World War. He shot down 15 enemy aircraft and was one of the top-scoring aces against the V-1 flying bomb.
Sir Alan Smith, CBE, DFC*, DL, was a British World War II Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire fighter ace and businessman.
Air Commodore Roy Gilbert Dutton, was a Royal Air Force officer and decorated flying ace. He flew Hurricanes during the Second World War and was credited with 19 confirmed aerial victories.