|Distinguished Flying Medal|
Obverse and reverse of the medal
|Awarded for||Exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy|
|Presented by||UK and Commonwealth|
|Eligibility||British and (formerly) Commonwealth forces|
|Status||Discontinued in 1993|
|Established||3 June 1918|
|Order of Wear|
|Next (higher)||Military Medal |
|Next (lower)||Air Force Medal |
|Related||Distinguished Flying Cross|
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 medal was established on 3 June 1918. It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was awarded to commissioned officers and Warrant Officers, although the latter could also be awarded the DFM. The decoration ranked below the DFC in order of precedence, between the Military Medal and the Air Force Medal. Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "DFM". 
Although announced in the London Gazette on 3 June 1918,  the actual Royal Warrants were not published in the London Gazette until 5 December 1919. 
In 1979 eligibility for a number of British awards, including the DFM, was extended to permit posthumous awards.  Until that time, only the Victoria Cross and a mention in dispatches could be awarded posthumously.
In 1993, the DFM was discontinued, as part of the review of the British honours system, which recommended removing distinctions of rank in respect of awards for bravery. Since then, the Distinguished Flying Cross, previously only open to Commissioned and Warrant Officers, can be awarded to personnel of all ranks. 
The DFM 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. 
There were two categories of award, either "Immediate" or "Non-Immediate".
An "Immediate" award was one which was recommended by a senior officer, usually in respect of an act or acts of bravery or devotion to duty deemed to command immediate recognition. In such circumstances, the recommendation for the award was passed as quickly as possible through the laid down channels to obtain approval by the AOC-in-C of the appropriate Command to whom, from 1939, the power to grant immediate awards was designated by King George VI. 
An example of an "Immediate" award is that to Leslie Marsh, which was published in the London Gazette on 15 February 1944. 
"Non-Immediate" awards were made by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Air Ministry and were to reward devotion to duty sustained over a period of time. This category of award could be made at any time during an operational tour but, in a large number of instances, the award was given to recognise the successful completion of a full tour of operational flying. 
Between 1918 and 1993 a total of 6,967 medals, 64 second award bars and one third award bar were awarded. Over 95% of these awards were for service during the Second World War.
During the First World War, 104 Distinguished Flying Medals and two second award bars were awarded to British and Commonwealth servicemen,  with a further four honorary awards to foreign combatants, three Belgians and one French airman.  
The first awards of the medal appeared in the London Gazette of 3 June 1918, where two recipients are listed. 
The first award of a bar to the Distinguished Flying Medal was announced in the London Gazette on 3 December 1918. It was awarded to Sergeant observer Arthur Newland, DFM who had been awarded the DFM on 21 September 1918. 
In the period between the World Wars, 41 awards of the DFM were made between 1920–29 and a further 39 between 1930–39, along with two second award bars. 
During the Second World War, a total of 6,637 DFMs were awarded, with 60 second award bars.  A unique second bar, representing a third award, was awarded to Flight Sergeant Donald Ernest Kingaby on 7 November 1941. 
At least 170 Honorary DFM's and 2 Honorary bars (one of them to Josef Frantisek) were awarded to aircrew from non-Commonwealth countries. 39 were awarded to servicemen of the US, 66 Polish plus one bar, 33 French, 14 Czechoslovakian plus one bar, 7 Dutch, 6 Norwegian, 4 Russian and one Belgian. 
142 DFMs were earned between 1946 and 1993 when the award was discontinued. 
The DFM is an oval silver medal, 35 mm wide and with a height of 41 mm, with the following design: 
|Distinguished Flying Medal ribbon bars|
|DFM||DFM and Bar|
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 George Cross (GC) is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system awarded "for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger", not in the presence of the enemy, to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians. Posthumous awards have been allowed since it was instituted. It was previously awarded to residents of Commonwealth countries, most of which have since established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians including police, emergency services and merchant seamen. Many of the awards have been personally presented by the British monarch to recipients or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
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 George Medal (GM), instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI, is a decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, awarded for gallantry "not in the face of the enemy" where the services were not so outstanding as to merit the George Cross.
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 British Merchant Navy, and formerly also to officers 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 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.
The Royal Red Cross is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing.
The Queen's Police Medal (QPM) is awarded to police in the United Kingdom for gallantry or distinguished service. It was also formerly awarded within the wider British Empire, including Commonwealth countries, most of which now have their own honours systems. The medal was established on 7 July 1909 as the King's Police Medal (KPM), initially inspired by the need to recognise the gallantry of the police officers involved in the Tottenham Outrage. Renamed the King's Police and Fire Services Medal (KPFSM) in 1940, it was replaced on 19 May 1954 by the Queen's Police Medal (QPM), when a separate Queen's Fire Service Medal was also instituted.
The Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM) is a United Kingdom decoration awarded for exemplary acts of bravery by civilians, and by members of the Armed Forces "not in the face of the enemy", where the services were not so outstanding as to merit the George Cross or the George Medal, but above the level required for the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
The Queen's Fire Service Medal, introduced in 1954, is awarded to members of the fire services in the United Kingdom for distinguished service or gallantry. It was also formerly awarded by Commonwealth countries, most of which now have their own honours systems.
Sergeant Arthur Ernest Newland DFM & Bar (1882–1964) was a British World War I observer ace credited with 22 victories.
The King's Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom is a British medal for award to foreign nationals who aided the Allied effort during the Second World War.
The Allied Subjects' Medal was a British decoration, distributed by the Foreign Office, to citizens of allied and neutral countries who gave assistance to British and Commonwealth soldiers, mainly escaped prisoners of war, behind enemy lines between 1914–1918. Originally instituted in 1920, delays caused by discussions within Government on the precise form and design of the award meant that it was only manufactured and distributed in 1922.
William Henry Franklin, DFM and Bar also known as Bill Franklin was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and a notable Second World War flying ace decorated for gallantry twice, he shot down more than 13 enemy aircraft over the Dunkirk evacuation beaches and during the Battle of Britain before being killed in action.