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Air Force Cross (United Kingdom)

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  • Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough (1918 - 2008)
    Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB, CBE, DFC, AFC, OStJ, FRAeS (2 May 1918 – 10 May 2008) was a Royal Air Force pilot during the Second World War who went on to become Vice-Chief of the Defen...
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse (1892 - 1970)
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Edmund Charles Peirse, KCB, DSO, AFC (30 September 1892 – 5 August 1970) was a senior Royal Air Force commander.
  • Air Vice-Marshal Meredith Thomas, CSI, CBE, DFC, AFC (1892 - 1984)
    Air Vice-Marshal Meredith Thomas CSI, CBE, DFC, AFC, (6 July 1892 – 20 May 1984) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He began his career as a flying ace during World War ...

The Air Force Cross (AFC) ) is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom Armed Forces, and formerly also to officers of the other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying, though not in active operations against the enemy". A bar is added to the ribbon for holders who are awarded a second AFC.

History

The award was established on 3 June 1918. It was originally awarded to Air Force commissioned officers and Warrant Officers, but this was expanded after the Second World War to include Army and Navy aviation officers, and again in 1993 to other ranks, after the discontinuation of the Air Force Medal.

During the First World War, approximately 680 were awarded. During the Second World War, 2,001 decorations were awarded, with 26 bars awarded.

58 honorary awards were made to aircrew from other non-Commonwealth countries.

Post-nominal letters

Recipients of the Air Force Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "AFC". A bar is added to the ribbon of holders of the AFC for each additional award.

Description

  • The medal is a silver cross, 60 mm high and 54 mm wide, representing aircraft propeller blades, with wings between the arms. The obverse depicts Hermes, riding on the wings of a hawk holding a laurel wreath. At the top of the upper arm is the royal crown, while the other three arms bear the royal cypher of the reigning monarch at the time of issue.
  • The suspender is straight and decorated with laurel wreaths.
  • The ribbon was originally white with red broad horizontal stripes, but changed in 1919 to the current white with red broad diagonal stripes at a 45-degree angle.