Encyclopedia - Distinguished Flying Cross (U.K.)
The Distinguished Flying Cross medal - or DFC - was instigated by the British on 3 June 1918 as a means of recognising acts of courage and devotion to duty among officers and warrant officers in the British Royal Air Force (RAF).
For subsequent acts of merit a straight silver Bar was added to the DFC. Among the recipients - which included airmen of Commonwealth and other nations - were Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor (who achieved 54 aerial victories), the Canadian William Claxton and the Australian Arthur Cobby.
1,079 DFCs were issued during and immediately after the First World War, plus a further 9 Bars to previously awarded DFCs. By comparison 4,018 were issued during the Second World War, plus 214 first and 5 second bars. The year of the award of the medal (1918) is inscribed on the reverse of the silver medal.
The British DFC - which was open to those pilots who had scored at least eight aerial victories - is not to be confused with another medal of the same name issued by the U.S. government from 1926 onwards.
A 'Woolly Bear' comprised a German shrapnel shell, which burst with a cloud-like explosion.
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