|Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air|
|Type||Decoration for meritorious service|
|Awarded for||Service while flying|
|Description||Pin back badge / Ribbon device|
|Presented by||the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth|
|Eligibility||Both service personnel and civilians|
|Status||Discontinued in 1994|
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. It was replaced by the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.
The King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air was first awarded in 1942 to reward both meritorious and gallant service while flying, not in the face of an enemy, that did not reach the standard required for the Air Force Cross or the Air Force Medal.It could be awarded to both members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces and to civilians. It was renamed the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1952, following the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.
Service personnel wear a bronze oak leaf device on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, in the same way as those mentioned in dispatches. A smaller version of the oak leaf is attached to the ribbon when worn alone. Where no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn directly on the coat after any medal ribbons. A recipient of both a King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air and a mention in dispatches can wear two oak leaves on one ribbon.
In 1945 a special badge was introduced for civilian recipients. Designed by Percy Metcalfe, and approved by King George VI in September 1945, 1.1 inches (28 mm) in height and 0.7 inches (18 mm) wide. It is worn on the coat immediately below any medals or medal ribbons or, in civil airline uniform, on the panel of the left breast pocket. If a recipient has no medals, the badge is worn in the position in which a single ribbon would be worn. The reverse is plain, except for the attachment pin and, in some cases, a registration number.it is silver and consists of two raised wings creating an oval, surmounted by a crown and the words FOR VALUABLE SERVICE. It measures
Although renamed the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1952,this did not lead to a change of design.
All recipients also received a certificate, signed by the appropriate government minister.
Approximately 3,000 Commendations for Valuable Service in the Air were awarded, including to service personnel and civilians.Among the recipients were a number of civilian, RAF and RN test pilots who received the award in recognition of extraordinary flying during extreme conditions.
This table summarises the various King's and Queen's Commendations awarded by the United Kingdom:
|Period||For Bravery||For Bravery (Air)||For valuable service||For valuable service (Air)|
|1939 - 1952|| King's Commendation for|
|–||–||King’s Commendation for|
Valuable Service in the Air
|1952 - 1994|| Queen's Commendation for|
|–||–||Queen’s Commendation for|
Valuable Service in the Air
|From 1994|| Queen's Commendation for|
| Queen's Commendation for|
Bravery in the Air
| Queen's Commendation for|
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 highest award bestowed by the British government for non-operational gallantry or gallantry not in the presence of an enemy. In the British honours system, the George Cross, since its introduction in 1940, has been equal in stature to the Victoria Cross, the highest military gallantry award. It is 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. The investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, as well as 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 was a decoration established in 1854 by Queen Victoria 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 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.
To be mentioned in dispatches describes a member of the armed forces whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which their gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy is described.
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 British Empire Medal (BEM) is a British and Commonwealth award for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The current honour was created in 1922 to replace the original medal, which had been established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire.
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 Commendation for Bravery and the Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air are United Kingdom awards, open to both military personnel and civilians. They were established in 1994, when the award of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air were discontinued.
The Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, formerly the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct, acknowledged brave acts by both civilians and members of the armed services in both war and peace, for gallantry not in the presence of an enemy. Established by King George VI in 1939, the award was discontinued in 1994 on the institution of the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a British medal awarded to sergeants and warrant officers of the British armed forces for long and meritorious service. From 1916 to 1928, eligibility was extended to cover both valuable services by selected other ranks irrespective of length of service, and for gallantry not in the face of the enemy.
The Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service is a British military award for meritorious service in an operational theatre. It was established in 1994, when the award of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air were discontinued.
The Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM), is a United Kingdom award for civil gallantry at sea.
The Overseas Territories Police Medal (OTPM), known as the Colonial Police Medal (CPM) until April 2012, is a medal awarded for gallantry or distinguished service to all ranks of police forces and organised fire brigades in British Overseas Territories, and formerly in Crown Colonies and British Dependent Territories. Police officers in these areas can also be awarded the higher ranking Queen's Police Medal. The CPM was first awarded in 1938.