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

Obverse View

The Air Force Cross obverse view

About this award

The Air Force Cross (AFC) was instituted in 1918. It was awarded to junior officers and senior non commissioned officers of the three Armed Services for courage and devotion to duty while flying on operations not in contact with an enemy. Since 1993 the AFC has been made available to all ranks in the United Kingdom.

In 1999 the AFC was replaced in New Zealand by the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (for acts of gallantry) and by the New Zealand Bravery Decoration (for acts of bravery).

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.