Commander Lynch's Awards and Medals:
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (2)
AIR MEDAL (13)
NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL W/COMBAT 'V'
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION
The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight". Cmdr Lynch held TWO such awards.
The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself/herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism, or for meritorious service. Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties. However, it may also be awarded to certain other individuals whose combat duties require regular and frequent flying in other than a passenger status, or individuals who perform a particularly noteworthy act while performing the function of a crew member but who are not on flying status. These individuals must make a discernible contribution to the operational land combat mission or to the mission of the aircraft in flight.
Examples of personnel whose combat duties require them to fly include those in the attack elements of units involved in air-land assaults against an armed enemy and those directly involved in airborne command and control of combat operations.
Subsequent decorations of the Air Medal are denoted in the NAVY by gold and silver award Stars for "individual" Air Medals. Gold stars were used for the second through the fifth, seventh through tenth awards, and so on. Silver stars were used in lieu of five gold stars, and denote the sixth and eleventh (and so on) awards. Cmdr. Lynch was Awarded the Air Medal 13 Times.
The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military award decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device ("V" device) may be authorized as an attachment to the decoration.
The Valor device (also known as a combat distinguishing device, "V" device, and Combat V) is an award of the United States military which is a bronze attachment to certain medals to indicate that it was received for valor. The device serves as a clarification for medals that are awarded for both valor (bravery in the face of the enemy), and merit (an extraordinary job under noncombat conditions).
The Valor device denotes those individuals who were awarded a decoration in recognition of valorous act performed during direct combat with an enemy force. It may also denote an accomplishment of a heroic nature in direct support of operations against an enemy force. Generally, the Valor device is for specific heroic acts during or supporting direct combat with the enemy. The award must also be personally recommended by a superior and is not an automatic decoration or upgrade.
The Presidential Unit Citation is a senior unit award granted to military units which have performed an extremely meritorious or heroic act, usually in the face of an armed enemy.
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) U.S. Navy 1969 Vietnam War 9 Jan 1969: The Presidential Unit Citation, covering 23 Dec 1967–1 Jun 1968, was awarded to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) for their exceptional performance during the fierce fighting of the enemy’s Tet Offensive, in part noting that they “succeeded in inflicting extensive damage and destruction to sites and installations vital to the enemy’s operations.” ADM Hyland noted during the award ceremony: “The ship is recognized in professional circles as having been on Yankee Station during the toughest part of the war and against the most heavily defended area in the world.” Kitty Hawk launched 185 major strikes, 150 of them against northern North Vietnam, hitting the Hanoi and Haiphong areas 65 times. Due to fluid enemy tactics additional emphasis was placed upon “lucrative targets of a fleeting nature.”
USS Kitty Hawk
Career (United States)
Name: USS Kitty Hawk
Namesake: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Ordered: 1 October 1955
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 27 December 1956
Launched: 21 May 1960
Commissioned: 29 April 1961
Decommissioned: 12 May 2009
Out of service: 31 January 2009
Homeport: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
General characteristics 
Class and type: Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier
Displacement: 61,351 long tons (62,335 t),
81,985 long tons (83,301 t) full load
Length: 1,068.9 feet (325.8 m) LOA
Beam: 282 feet (86 m) extreme
130 feet (40 m) waterline
Draught: 40 feet (12 m)
Draft: 38 feet (12 m)
Propulsion: Westinghouse geared steam turbines, eight steam boilers, four shafts; 280,000 shp
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Complement: 5,624 officers and men
Armament: RIM-7 Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, 2 RIM-116 RAM, 2 Phalanx CIWS Automated Anti-Missile/Aircraft Defenses
Aircraft carried: 85
Typical 2000 air wing (70 aircraft):
40 F/A-18C Hornet fighter-bombers,
4 EA-6B Prowler combat EW,
4 E-2C Hawkeye AEW,
5 SH-60F/HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopters,
1 C-2A Greyhound carrier on-board delivery
The supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), formerly CVA-63, was the second naval ship named after Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the site of the Wright brothers' first powered airplane flight. Kitty Hawk was both the first and last active ship of her class, and the last conventionally-fueled aircraft carrier in service with the U.S. Navy.