The Distinguished Flying Cross

Awards to New Zealanders have been 1,032 Crosses, eighty four first bars and four second bars to members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War, one Cross to a member of the Royal New Zealand Navy during the Second World War, one Cross to a member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Malayan confrontation, six Crosses to a member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Vietnam War and two Crosses to members of the New Zealand Army during the Vietnam War.
A Cross flory terminated in the horizontal and basebars with bombs, the upper bar terminating with a rose, surmounted by another cross composed of aeroplane propellers charged in the centre with a roundel within a wreath of laurels a rose winged ensigned by an Imperial Crown thereon the letters R.A.F. and attached to the clasp and ribbon by two sprigs of laurel.

The Royal Cypher above the date 1918. Since 1939, the year of award has usually been recorded on the reverse side of the lower arm.

55mm across the arms of the cross.

31mm wide, the ribbon is of equal sized 3mm diagonal stripes of mauve and white.

By an ornate suspender bar, through the bottom of which passes a ring, attaching the suspender bar to an eyelet attached to the upper arm of the cross.

Instituted in 1918 on the formation of the Royal Air Force, The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to officers and warrant officers for gallantry in action whilst engaged in flying operations against the enemy. Provision was made for the award of bars for subsequent acts.

Prior to the institution of the Royal Air Force, pilots in the Royal Flying Corps were awarded The Military Cross in similar circumstances. Subsequent Warrants extended the award to the Fleet Air Arm and those in other services who fly (e.g. Glider Regiment pilots).

The original ribbon of The Distinguished Flying Cross had the stripes running horizontally, but this was changed to the present ribbon in 1919. Only just over 1,000 Crosses were awarded during the First World War and they are therefore rare. During the Second World War, however, with the enormous expansion of the Air Force and the many actions, the number of Crosses and bars awarded was 20,946

Citation for D.F.C.
Pilot Officer Arthur Ashworth (436099), Royal Air Force, No. 75 (NZ) Squadron. (Pilot: sorties 20; flying hours 125).
On the night of 18/19th June 1941, this officer was the pilot of an aircraft which carried out an attack on the Scharnhorst at Brest. Although the target was obscured, Pilot Officer Ashworth flew over the area for a considerable time, finally dropping flares immediately north and south of the target, which enabled him to see and attack his objective. He also aimed one bomb at an unidentified vessel of 10,000 tons, which was observed entering the docks. This operation necessitated Pilot Officer Ashworth remaining over the area for one and a quarter hours, making eight surveying runs, at times at extremely low altitude, and in the face of extreme anti-aircraft fire.
Since February 21st 1941, this officer has participated in twenty operational missions. He has displayed outstanding skill and courage and infinite care in his objective.
Citation for Bar to D.F.C.
Acting Squadron Leader Arthur Ashworth, D.S.O., D.F.C. (436099), Royal Air Force, No. 635 Squadron. (Pilot: sorties 110; flying hours 498. Since previous award sorties 25; flying hours 13).
Since the award of the Distinguished Service Order, Squadron Leader Ashworth has completed numerous sorties. He has been employed on operational flying since 1941 and, however arduous the task allotted to him, this officer has completed it in a cheerful and confident manner, often making several runs over heavily defended targets to ensure accuracy. Squadron Leader Ashworth’s fine fighting spirit and devotion to duty have set an inspiring example to all.