Obverse: An Uncrowned Effigy of the Sovereign.

Reverse: Within a wreath of laurel a representation of Athena Nike seated on an aeroplane, a hawk rising from her right arm above the words “For Courage”. and the date “1918”. The whole ensigned by a bomb attached to the clasp and ribbon by two wings.

Size: Of oval shape, being 36mm across and 42mm from top to bottom.

Ribbon: 31mm wide, the ribbon is of equal sized 1.5mm wide diagonal stripes of mauve and white.

Suspension: By an ornate suspender bar in the shape of two wings.

Instituted in 1918 under almost the same conditions as The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Distinguished Flying Medal is awarded to non-commissioned officers and airmen of the Air Force who have displayed courage or devotion to duty in active flying operations. Bars may be awarded for subsequent acts.

Because fewer non-commissioned officers fly than do officers, The Distinguished Flying Medal is much rarer than The Distinguished Flying Cross. Just over 100 medals and bars were awarded during the First World War and 6,698 during the Second World War. Members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force were awarded 183 Medals and one first bar during the Second World War.

Details of the recipient are recorded on the rim.

Like The Distinguished Flying Cross, the original ribbon had horizontal stripes and changed to the present design in 1919.

Royal Warrant For This Award: View Warrant (PDF document)