Dear Mr. Linn,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
According to the U.S. Army Veterans Medals website, Air Medals are “awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the armed forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism or for meritorious service.” You may wish to contact them directly to see if they can offer you any additional assistance.
The Military Times website offers additional information about Air Medal Recipients, and the Roll of Honor website offers this information about the Air Medal, too. The blog post Air Medal: Eligibility and History may also be of interest to you.
We hope this information is helpful, and best of luck with your research!
During the Vietnam War, the Air Medal underwent some changes from its World War II criteria. Prior to 1968, the number of missions, flight conditions, and enemy contact were all varying factors that were taken into account, which determined whether someone was awarded an Air Medal or the Distinguished Flying Cross. In Vietnam, the Air Medal was awarded for every 25 hours of combat assaults, 50 for non-combat flights (flying wounded to hospitals or ferrying supplies), and then a 100 hours for all other flights. In 1968, the Army changed the counting system for flight hours to categorize them all the same. Every 24 flight hours determined an AM, and for each award afterwards. The switch from using oak leaf clusters to numerals was also implemented in 1968. Today, Air Medals are determined based on every six months of meritorious service with an aircraft rather than cataloging the number of flight hours.