Air Force Cross (1953-)
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The Air Force Cross was established on June 3, 1918, and officially outlined in the Royal Warrant of November 5, 1918. It was originally awarded to soldiers of the Commonwealth, although many of these nations have since established their own awards for gallantry in the air.
It was first awarded to Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers of the Royal Air Force in recognition of acts of valour and devotion performed in the air outside of active combat operations. It was extended to citizens who did not belong to the Royal Air Force (ie. naval and military personnel, and civilians). Since its creation, equivalent Officers in foreign air forces have also been eligible to receive the award in recognition of distinguished flying service alongside British forces. In 1941, it was extended to equivalent Officer ranks of the air branch of the Royal Navy. Since 1993, it has been open to all ranks of the British Armed Forces in recognition of acts of valour performed in the air outside of active military operations.
The Cross may be awarded multiple times to the same recipient, in which case a silver clasp is worn on the ribbon to denote each additional award. It may also be awarded posthumously. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters AFC.
There are multiple versions of the Cross that differ according to the initials of the Sovereign on the obverse and the royal cypher of the Sovereign on the reverse.
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