See also: Category:Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross, was authorized by an Act of Congress of July 2, 1926, an act amended by Executive Order 7786 on January 8, 1938.
The first Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded to Charles Lindbergh (although Herbert Dargue is reported to have received the award two weeks before Lindbergh). The first Distinguished Flying Cross to be awarded to a Naval Aviator was received by then-Commander Richard E. Byrd, for his flight on May 9, 1926, to and from the North Pole. Both Lindbergh and Byrd also received the Medal of Honor for their feats.
Numerous military recipients of the medal would later earn greater fame in other occupations—several astronauts, actors and politicians (including former President George H. W. Bush) are Distinguished Flying Cross holders.
Civilians who have received the award include Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Wiley Post, Jacqueline Cochran, Roscoe Turner, Amelia Earhart, and Eugene Ely.
During wartime, members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations serving with the United States are eligible for the Distinguished Flying Cross. It is also given to those who display heroism while working as instructors or students at flying schools.
Admiral Stan Arthur received 11 Distinguished Flying Crosses—the most earned by any person.