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Memorial Day Weekend: Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial Celebration at the March Field Air Museum
Fifth Anniversary of Federal Designation as a National Memorial
By: Distinguished Flying Cross Society IE Chapter
― President Abraham Lincoln
The Distinguished Flying Cross Society Inland Empire Chapter, partnering with the March Field Air Museum, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial's designation as a National Memorial in a commemoration ceremony on Saturday, May 25, 2019 beginning at 11:30. The Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial is located in the Heritage Courtyard by the main entrance of the March Field Air Museum and is free to the public. Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41) will be one of the speakers.
Created by Congress in 1926, the Distinguished Flying Cross is America's oldest military aviation award, awarded to any Armed Forces member who distinguishes him or herself by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight."
The first awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross were presented on May 2, 1927 to ten aviators of the U.S. Army Air Corps for the Army Pan American Flight from December 21, 1926, to May 2, 1927. They received certificates, as the medal was not yet available. Charles Lindbergh received the first DFC medal as an Army Reservist on June 11, 1927, for his solo trans-Atlantic flight. A few early civilian aviators meeting the criteria received the DFC by acts of Congress. Amelia Earhart was the first female recipient. The Wright Brothers were awarded DFCs in 1928. World War II saw 126,318 DFCs awarded and the Korean War approximately 21,000. There were 21,647 in the Vietnam War and several hundred more in recent and current conflicts.
On July 25, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the legislation sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42), designating the DFC Memorial at March Field Air Museum as a National Memorial. The Memorial gives well-earned recognition to the American aviators who have received the Distinguished Flying Cross, distinguishing themselves by heroism or extraordinary achievement in aerial flight – from the Wright Brothers through the present.
About the March Field Air Museum
The March Field Air Museum is located alongside Interstate Highway 215 at Van Buren Boulevard, just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base. Haven't visited the museum lately? It is TripAdvisor's top-rated attraction in Riverside, and a must-see destination for anyone interested in military aviation. Along with friendly docents, numerous exhibits and more than 80 military aircraft on display, the museum features interactive exhibits highlighting the people, technology and history of Southern California military aviation. Aircraft on display range from a modern-day MQ-1 Predator (remotely piloted aircraft), to early examples of military aircraft, to some of America's most iconic military planes including World War II bombers. For more information about the museum, please visit http://www.marchfield.org or call (951) 902-5949.
About the Distinguished Flying Cross Society
Founded in 1994, the DFC Society exists to honor those who have demonstrated heroism or extraordinary achievement in aerial flight that resulted in the award of the DFC. Membership represents the continuum of time from the Wright Brothers to the present; it includes a diversity of rank, ethnicity, and gender, with officer and enlisted members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, along with a few civilian aviation pioneers. The Society preserves the rich heritage and historical narratives of DFC recipients, and educates the general public, especially the youth of America, on the values of courage, patriotism and character. The Society holds a national Reunion every two years. There are 18 local Chapters across the country. The Inland Empire Chapter meets the third Thursday of each month except for July, August, and December, at 11:30PM at Altavita Village.
Director, Distinguished Flying Cross Society