Encyclopedia - Distinguished Flying Medal

Distinguished Flying Medal Instituted on King George V's birthday - 3 June 1918 - along with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Force Medal, the Distinguished Flying Medal was awarded to NCOs and enlisted men of the Royal Air Force to recognise "valour, courage or devotion to duty performed whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".

The DFM (as it was known) was later extended - during the Second World War - to similarly cover the air arms of the army and fleet.

Made of silver and oval in shape, the medal was 1.375 inches wide and 1.625 inches long and featured the head of the reigning monarch on its front.  The reverse featured Athena Nike seated in an aircraft holding an eagle with the words For Courage listed above.

The medal was engraved with the recipient's service number, rank, name and service.  An additional Bar (straight and featuring an eagle in the centre) was available to recognise further acts of merit.

The DFM was rarely issued; a mere 104 were awarded during the First World War.

A "blimp" was a word applied to an observation balloon.

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