The Air Force Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Cross is the Air Force decoration equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross (Army) and the Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps).
The Air Force Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor. It may be awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S Air Force, distinguishes him or herself by extraordinary heroism involving one of the following actions:
Originally entitled the "Distinguished Service Cross (Air Force)", the Air Force Cross was first proposed in 1947 after the creation of the United States Air Force as a separate armed service. In July 1960, the name of the decoration was officially changed to the Air Force Cross. The first award of the Air Force Cross was the posthumously made to Major Rudolph Anderson for extraordinary heroism during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Additional awards of the Air Force Cross are annotated by oak leaf clusters, and the reverse of every Air Force Cross is engraved with the recipient's name.
White, Robert M. (POW-WWII) P-51 Mustang pilot WWII Germany, F-80 Shooting Star pilot Korean War, X-15 test pilot (First winged astronaut), F-105 Thud pilot Vietnam. Inducted National Aviation Hall of Fame