Background: The Air Force Medal (AFM) was introduced on 3 June 1918 as a third level decoration to Other Ranks of the RAF for “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying, though not in active operations against the enemy.” The AFM was also awarded to personnel of other Commonwealth countries. The AFM was discontinued in 1993 and since then, the AFC could be awarded to all ranks. Approximately 1,000 awards of the AFM were made before it was discontinued.
Design: The medal is an oval, silver disc, 35mm wide and 41 millimetres long. The obverse shows a bareheaded effigy of the reigning sovereign. The reverse shows Hermes (facing right), mounted on a hawk in flight and bestowing a wreath, all contained within a laurel wreath. The date “1918” appears behind Hermes on the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II medals. A bomb is attached to the clasp by two wings. The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and consists of alternate red and white diagonal stripes, 2 millimetres wide, leaning 45 degrees to the left. A red stripe is to appear in the bottom left and upper right corners when viewed on the wearer’s chest. Until 1919, the stripes were horizontal.
Bars: A bar could be awarded to recognise a second award of the AFM.