023 – The Distinguished Flying Cross

023 – The Distinguished Flying Cross

Featured Guest
Retired U.S. Navy Commander Chuck Sweeney

What do astronaut Alan Shepard, actor Clark Gable, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, and president George H. W. Bush all have in common apart from notoriety?

Each distinguished him- or herself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. Each acted in the face of danger, well above those actions performed by others engaged in similar flight operations, with results so exceptional as to render them conspicuous among those accomplished by others involved in similar circumstances.

Each of these four brave Americans, and thousands more like them, was awarded the military’s fourth highest decoration: the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Commander and President & CEO of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, Chuck Sweeney, explains the prestigious medal and the organization designed to promote its heritage. Learn how the medal was once awarded to civilians (like Amelia Earhart and Orville & Wilbur Wright) but is now reserved for military personnel. Then find out how Chuck was awarded three DFCs following a week of particularly harrowing combat operations while piloting an A-4 Skyhawk during the Vietnam conflict.

Chuck’s stories, and those of thousands of other DFC recipients like him, are compiled in the riveting book, On Heroic Wings (available on Amazon).

Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Jim Hendershot.