The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a decoration bestowed by the President of the United States and is the highest civilian award in the U.S. It recognizes those individuals who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
On April 18, 1970, the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team, of which Prof. England was a member, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard M. Nixon for contributions to safe recovery of Apollo 13.
The award reads: "We often speak of scientific "miracles"—forgetting that these are not miraculous happenings at all, but rather the product of hard work, long hours and disciplined intelligence. The men and women of the Apollo 13 mission operations team performed such a miracle, transforming potential tragedy into one of the most dramatic rescues of all time. Years of intense preparation made this rescue possible. The skill, coordination and performance under pressure of the mission operations team made it happen. Three brave astronauts are alive and on Earth because of their dedication, and because at the critical moments the people of that team were wise enough and self-possessed enough to make the right decisions. Their extraordinary feat is a tribute to man's ingenuity, to his resourcefulness and to his courage."
The Antarctic Service Medal is awarded to members of Antarctic expeditions and personnel of the permanent Antarctica stations or for service in contiguous waters. It is awarded to officers and enlisted men of the armed forces and to deserving civilians, such as scientists and polar experts.