The Distinguished Flying Cross Medal (DFC) is an award that is bestowed upon any officer of enlisted personnel of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight." The medal was created on July 2nd, 1926 and the first awards were bestowed by President Calvin Coolidge on December 21st, 1927 to ten Army Air Corps aviators who participated in the US Army Pan-American Flight. Two of those awards were bestowed posthumously as they had died in a mid-air collision during that flight. The first person to actually be presented with the medal was Charles Lindbergh after returning from his trans-Atlantic Flight.
While it has been used to honor both civilian and military achievement, it is now almost exclusively a military award. Also, due to the advancements in aerial technology, the requirements for the award have varied from conflict to conflict, theater to theater.