Dana T. Atkins

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major Dana T. Atkins for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Left Wingman, United States Air Force Demonstration Squadron, “Thunderbirds,” Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, from 5 November 1987 to 20 December 1989.  During this period, Major Adkins skillfully flew 159 official air demonstrations before over 20 million spectators throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  In his two years as a Thunderbird, he participated in more than 1,000 public relations events ranging from visiting childrens’ hospitals to national television appearances.  He deployed over 400 days and flew in excess of 152,000 accident-free miles while exhibiting the capabilities of Air Force pilots and their combat aircraft.  Major Atkins’ consistently professional performance in a strenuous airborne environment exemplified his outstanding proficiency and devotion to duty.  The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Atkins reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.