Air Force Medal of Honor, Prototype


SKU: 02.USA.0100.103.01.001

Estimated market value:

$1500 USD

  • Decoration Obverse
  • Decoration Reverse
  • Decoration Detail

Estimated market value:

$1500 USD


  • Country
    United States
  • Makers
    Medallic Art Company
  • Composition
    Bronze Gilt/Enamelled
  • Size


The Air Force Medal of Honor was authorized by Congress in 1965 to replace the Army design of the Medal of Honor as the award for members of the Air Force. The Air Force Medal of Honor is one of three types of the Medal of Honour, which is the highest military award for bravery. The Medal of Honor is normally presented by the President of the United States on behalf of Congress and is thus often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Air Force Medal of Honor is awarded in recognition of acts of conspicuous bravery or self-sacrifice during combat that clearly distinguishes the individual from their comrades. It is awarded only upon incontestable proof (of two eyewitnesses) of acts of heroism that goes above and beyond the call of duty in armed combat only. Citizens of the United States and some foreigners who are members of the United States Air Force are eligible for the award.

The Air Force became a separate entity from the Army in 1947, but continued to use Army Decorations until the early 1960s. The first five basic designs for the Air Force Medal were submitted in 1961, and after much controversy surrounding the effigy, direction of the star and design of the suspension bar, the final design was approved on December 19, 1962. The first strike of the preproduction sample was done by Medallic Art Company in New York the following year. Congressional authorization was granted on November 1, 1965. The Air Force Medal of Honor has only been awarded to Air Force personnel who served during the Vietnam War. Approximately over 3, 500 Medals of Honour have been issued since its institution date.

The Medal of Honor may also be awarded posthumously.

Oakleaf clasps may be worn on the ribbon to denote additional awards of the Navy Medal of Honour and a rosette may worn on the ribbon when the ribbon is worn alone. When the ribbon is worn alone, a distinct ribbon with 5 white stars in shape of an “M” is worn for situations other than full dress uniform.

The Air Force Medal of Honor is surmounted by a winged thunderbolt pendant and a suspension bar that reads “VALOR.”

There may be additional versions of the Decoration which vary by composition.

Recipients of the Medal of Honor are entitled to, among other privileges, a $1,259 pension, which is subject to increases in the cost of living wages, and a 10% increase in retired pay.


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Paul Huff, MOH


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