(Navy and Coast Guard)


The NC-4 Medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 714, 70th Congress) on February 9, 1929; as amended by Act of Congress (Public Law 43, 74th Congress) on April 25, 1935.


The NC-4 Medal commemorates the achievements of the seven service members of the NC-4 Flying Boat in making the first successful transatlantic flight in May of 1919.


The NC-4 Medal takes precedence after the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal and before the Haitian Campaign Medal (1919-1920).


No devices were authorized for this medal.


The NC-4 Medal was designed by Catherine G. Barton.


The NC-4 Medal was awarded to the following individuals:
  • Commander John H. Towers, U.S.N.

  • Lieutenant Commander Albert C. Read, U.S.N.

  • Lieutenant Elmer Stone, U.S.C.G.

  • Lieutenant Walter Hinton, U.S.N.

  • Lieutenant James L. Breese, U.S.N.R.F.

  • Ensign Herbert C. Rodd, U.S.N.R.F.

  • Chief Machinists Mate Eugene S. Rhodes, U.S.N.


In the center of a gold medallion two and a half inches in diameter, a gull volant over two sets of stylized waves. Following the contour of the medal, the inscription FIRST TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT UNITED STATES NAVY MAY 1919. The soaring seagull over the waves represents the NC-4 on its flight over the Atlantic, and the inscription describes the purpose of the medal.


In the center of a gold medallion two and a half inches in diameter, the inscription NC-4. Above this inscription is the word NEWFOUNDLAND, and below it, the word PORTUGAL. In the lower half of the medal, in two arcs, the inscription PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS. In the corresponding position in the top half of the medal, the names of the recipients: J.H. TOWERS / A.C. READ / E.F. STONE / W. HINTONH.C. RODD / J.L. BREESE / E. RHODES.


The ribbon to the NC-4 miniature consists of five stripes of equal width in the following colors: red, white, blue, green, and red. The red, white and blue stripes represent the United States and the green and red are the colors of Portugal.

Miniature Medal

On April 25, 1935, Congress authorized a "miniature" medal one and a quarter inches in diameter for wear on the uniform. This medal is identical to the full-sized medal except for its size and the fact that it is suspended from a ribbon.

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