Air Force Cross (AFC)

Instituted in June 1918, the Air Force Cross (AFC) was awarded to officers and warrant officers of the RAF for gallantry on non-operational missions and for meritorious service on flying duties.


This silver cross consists of a thunderbolt, the arms of which are joined by wings. At the base of the lower arm of the cross is the representation of a bomb. The cross is overlaid with an aircraft propeller with the initials of the Royal cipher at the points. In the centre is a roundel containing the figure of Hermes holding a wreath whilst riding on the back of an eagle. The medal is suspended from a silver laurel wreath suspender and a white and crimson striped ribbon. Originally, the stripes were horizontal, but have been diagonal since June 1919.


Since 1993 the AFC has been available to all ranks of the RAF for non-operational gallantry in the air only.


Worcestershire Officers who were awarded the AFC.

The rank show in the table below is that which was held at the time the Order was awarded.

Air Force Cross






Gazette Date


Henry Taylor

attached to R.A.F.




Richard Spencer

attached to R.A.F.

Captain (A/Major)



Captain Henry Taylor Horsfiled

Capt. Henry Taylor Horsfield

Captain Henry Taylor Horsfield, was born on the 30th October 1889.

He was appointed a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant on the General List in December 1914, and sometime thereafter posted to the 13th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He did not, however, see any active service until his transferral to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, when, on gaining his “Wings” (27th April 1916), he was posted to No. 34 Squadron, an Army co-operation unit, based in France, on the 10th July 1916.

He witnessed at first hand air-to-air combat over the coming months, a case in point being a dogfight with an enemy aircraft over Walencourt in the early afternoon of 16th October 1916, when his BE2e aircraft was damaged and his Observer, Lieutenant C. K. M. Douglas, wounded.

On the 17th January 1917, Captain Horsfield was appointed as a Flight Commander, but on the 12th June of the same year he was posted back to the U.K. to No. 9 Squadron for employment as an ‘Instructor in artillery or contact patrol work’, in which capacity he appears to have served for the remainder of the War, valuable training work that undoubtedly resulted in the award of his A.F.C.

Horsfield was transferred to the Unemployed List in 9th October 1919.

Captain Henry Taylor Horsfield died in Buckinghamshire in 1980 (age 90).

His medals were sold at aution in June 2005 for £1900.