The Air Medal (AM) is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. It was created in 1942 and is awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight
Barbara Erickson became the first WASP to receive the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement as a Pilot. Erickson received her medal for completing four 2,000-mile deliveries of three different types of aircraft in slightly more than 5 days of actual flying.
Description: A Bronze compass rose 111⁄16 inches circumscribing diameter and charged with an eagle volant carrying two lightning flashes in its talons. A fleur-de-lis at the top point holds the suspension ring. The points of the compass rose on the reverse are modeled with the central portion plain for engraving the name of the recipient.
Ribbon: The ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:
- 1⁄8inch Ultramarine Blue 67118;
- ¼ inch Golden Orange 67109;
- center 5⁄8inch Ultramarine Blue;
- ¼ inch Golden Orange; and
- 1⁄8inch Ultramarine Blue.
Components: The following are authorized components of the Air Medal and the applicable specifications for each:
- Decoration (regular size): MIL-D-3943/23. NSN for decoration set is 8455-00-269-5747. For replacement medal NSN 8455-00-246-3837.
- Decoration (miniature size): MIL-D-3943/23. NSN 8455-00-996-5002.
- Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/7. NSN 8455-00-252-9963.
- Lapel Button: MIL-L-11484/17. NSN 8455-00-257-4308.
Designer: Walker Hancock. Hancock had competed for the medal design as a civilian, but prior to the award of the competition had been inducted into the army.