1. Description: A bronze cross patee on which is superimposed a four-bladed propeller, 1 11/16 inches in width. Five rays extended from the reentrant angles, forming a one-inch square. The medal is suspended from a rectangular shaped bar.
2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/32 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118; 9/64 inch White 67101; 11/32 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118; 3/64 inch White 67101; center stripe 3/32 inch Old Glory Red 67156; 3/64 inch White 67101; 11/32 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118; 9/64 inch White 67101; 3/32 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118.
3. Criteria: 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 performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. 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. Awards will be made only to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement and will not be made in recognition of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy.
4. Components: The following are authorized components of the Distinguished Flying Cross:
a. Decoration (regular size): MIL-D-3943/15. NSN 8455-00-269-5748 for decoration set. NSN 8455-00-246-3826 for individual replacement medal.
b. Decoration (miniature size): MIL-D-3943/15. NSN 8455-00-996-5006.
c. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/47. NSN 8455-00-252-9967.
d. Lapel Button (metal replica of ribbon): MIL-L-11484/11. NSN 8455-00-253-0807.
5. Background: a. The Distinguished Flying Cross was established in the Air Corps Act (Act of Congress, 2 July 1926, Public Law No. 446, 69th Congress). This act provided for award "to any person, while serving in any capacity with the Air Corps of the Army of the United States, including the National Guard and the Organized Reserves, or with the United States Navy, since the 6th day of April 1917, has distinguished, or who, after the approval of this Act, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight."
b. Various designs from the U.S. Mint, commercial artists, and the Office of the Quartermaster General, were submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts and on 31 May 1927. The Commission approved a design submitted by Mr. Arthur E. Dubois and Miss Elizabeth Will.
c. Initial awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross were made to persons who made record breaking long distance and endurance flights and who set altitude records. The Secretary of War authorized the first Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain Charles A. Lindbergh in a letter dated 31 May 1927. With the support of the Secretary of War, the Wright Brothers retroactively received the Distinguished Flying Cross. This award required a special Act of Congress, since the law precluded award to civilians.
d. The current statutory requirements for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Army personnel is contained in Title 10, U.S.C., Section 3749; Section 6245 for Navy personnel; and Section 8749 for Air Force personnel. Enlisted personnel may be entitled to a 10% increase in retired pay under Title 10, U.S.C., Section 3991, when credited with heroism equivalent to that required for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross.
e. Order of precedence and wear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority, supply, and issue of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 600-8-22.