The Distinguished Flying Cross medal is awarded to aviators and aircrew for heroism or extraordinary achievement during aerial flight, the Distinguished Flying Cross is the only medal conferred by all five military services, in all wars and campaigns from World War I to the present.
Unfortunately, the government did not keep a cumulative record of DFC recipients, therefore no one knows how many have been awarded or to whom. We do know that the first Distinguished Flying Cross award citations were presented to the Army Air Corps crews of the 1926-27 Pan American Goodwill Flight on 2 May, 1927 by President Coolidge, for their five ship, 22,000 mile flight.
President Coolidge presented the first Distinguished Flying Cross medal, on 11 June, 1927, to Captain Charles A. Lindbergh of the Army Corps Reserve for his solo flight of 3600 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, a feat which electrified the world and “Lindy” one of America’s most popular heroes. The first Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to a Navy man was to Commander Richard E. Byrd of the Navy Air Corps for his flight across the Atlantic in the aircraft America in June 1927, not for his exciting flight to and from the North Pole as is widely reported. Both of these famous aviators also received the Medal of Honor. The aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. At the time hers was the first such award to a civilian. An executive order in March 1927 ruled that the Distinguished Flying Cross should not be conferred on civilians.
Our Society was not founded until 1994 and is composed of DFC recipients who either joined the Society or whose loved ones made them members posthumously and their names are listed on our Honor Roll in perpetuity. The names listed in red have a hotlink that when clicked on will display that members’ DFC citation.
The Distinguished Flying Cross Society is pleased to award four $1000.00 scholarships each school year. Applicants must be descendants (or legally adopted children) of DFC Society members who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution of higher education.
If you need to request military records or medal replacements follow the link. You can print a membership application or sign our Guestbook, read our latest DFC News Magazine or view pictures of memorial dedications or past reunions on-line.
View the remarks to The Distinguished Flying Cross Society and San Diego Air & Space Museum attendees, by The Honorable Anthony J. Principi, Honorary Member of The Distinguished Flying Cross Society.
The Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS) exists to honor those men and women who have demonstrated their heroism or extraordinary achievements in difficult situations in aerial flight that resulted in the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. As an organization, the DFCS membership represents not only the continuum of time, from 1926 to the present, but a diversity of services, ethnicity, rank and gender. Our membership primarily hails from the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard along with a few civilian aviation pioneers who are also included.
The Society was founded on fraternity and fellowship among military fliers. We seek to preserve the rich heritage and historical narratives of those who are recipients of the DFC and to educate the general public, especially the youth of America, on the values of courage, patriotism and character; those characteristics upon which America was founded. In doing, so we want to elevate the awareness of the award itself and to demonstrate to the public that, based on those principles, a cross section of ordinary Americans can and have accomplished extraordinary things in extremely difficult conditions.
We will accomplish our mission through a number of important initiatives.
- Continuously seeking out DFC recipients to become members of the DFCS.
- Establishing regional chapters throughout the United States to increase the DFCS’ effectiveness and reach.
- Teaming with other organizations such as the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and the James H. Doolittle Foundation to effectively reach and educate the youth of America.
- Promoting the book, “On Heroic Wings – Stories of the Distinguished Flying Cross”. The book preserves the rich history of many DFC recipients through the continuum of time.
- Creating a television documentary which will also be used to preserve the history and educate the public on the characteristics of those who have been awarded the DFC.