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British Commonwealth Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards - The Distinguished Flying Cross

Obverse View

The Distinguished Flying Cross obverse view

About the Distinguished Flying Cross

The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) was instituted in 1918. It was awarded to junior officers and senior non commissioned officers of the Air Force for courage and devotion to duty on active service. Over 1000 DFCs were awarded to New Zealanders for actions during the Second World War. The most recent awards were for service in Vietnam. Since 1993 the DFC has been made available to all ranks in the United Kingdom.

In 1999 the DFC was replaced in New Zealand by the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration.

Royal Warrant

Many British awards have a considerable history and the Royal Warrants which instituted them have been subject to significant amendment during their currency. More information on the Royal Warrants and criteria for the British Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards can be found in the publications listed in the Bibliography. A publication titled ‘British Gallantry Awards' by P.E. Abbott and J.M.E. Tamplin is particularly recommended.


Most Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards do not have separate Regulations. Instructions for their administration are usually included in the Royal Warrant.

Clasps and Bars

Bars are awarded for subsequent courageous acts.

Order of Wear

The position of this award in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.