Instituted in June 1918 and originally awarded with a horizontal striped ribbon.
This award was established to recognise gallantry in non-operational missions and for meritorious service on flying duties. 678 crosses were awarded between 1918 and 1920 with 12 bars and three second bars.
The period 1920-1936 saw a further 111 awards.
Bars are indicated by wearing a rosette on the ribbon bar when ribbons alone are worn.