Medals -- World War 2

The medals depicted here are specific to World War 2 service.

Other medals (eg bravery medals) which may have been awarded for service in World War 2 can be viewed by following the link at right.


The 1939-45 Star

Awarded for service as follows:
Navy - awarded for six months service afloat in areas of active operations from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945.
Army - awarded for six months service in an operational command during the period 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945.
Air Force - awarded to all aircrew who have taken part in operations against the enemy, subject to at least two months in an operational unit and to all non-air crew who served six months in the area of an Army operational command. A gold rosette worn on the ribbon signifies participation in the Battle of Britain, 1 July 1940 to 31 October 1940.
Merchant Marine - awarded under the same conditions as Navy provided that at least one voyage was made through a specified area of active operations.


Awarded for service as follows:
Navy - awarded for six months service afloat in the Atlantic or Home waters between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945, after qualifying for the 1939-45 Star.
Army - awarded under the same conditions as Navy.
Air Force - awarded to air crew for operations against the enemy at sea within the areas and dates defined for Navy, subject to completing two months service in an operational unit, after qualifying for the 1939-45 Star.
Merchant Marine - awarded under the same conditions as Navy, but requiring six months service at sea anywhere provided one voyage is made in the defined area.

A person qualifying for this Star and the Air Crew Europe Star and the France and Germany Star is awarded only the first earned, plus Clasps for the others. A silver rose emblem is worn on the ribbon bar to denote the award of a bar. 


The Atlantic Star



The Air Crew Europe Star

Awarded for two months operational flying from United Kingdom bases over Europe and the United Kingdom between 3 September 1939 and 5 June 1944. The 1939-45 Star must be earned first.

A person qualifying for this Star and the Atlantic Star and the France and Germany Star is awarded only the first earned, plus Clasps for the others. A silver rose emblem is worn on the ribbon bar to denote the award of a bar. 


Awarded for service as follows:
Navy and Merchant Marine - service at sea in the Mediterranean between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943, or in support of Army operations in Abyssinia, Somaliland and Eritrea or for shore service as for Army.
Army - entry into the operational area on the posted strength of a unit or formation in the area between the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943 or for service in operations in Abyssinia, Somaliland, Eritrea, Malta or Syria.

An arabic numeral '1' or '8' may be worn on this ribbon to denote service with the British 1st Army or 8th Army respectively.


The Africa Star



The Pacific Star

Awarded for service in the Pacific theatre between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945 as follows:
Navy and Merchant Marine - service in the Pacific Ocean, South China Sea and part of the Indian Ocean, or for shore service under same criteria as Army. The 1939-45 Star must be earned first.
Army - operational service in territories, not including Burma, that have been invaded by the enemy or the allies.
Air Force - air crew service in operations against the enemy (one operational sortie qualifies)

A person qualifying for both the Pacific Star and the Burma Star is awarded only the first Star earned. A Clasp is worn denoting service for the other Star.


Awarded for entry into operational service in the Burma campaign between 11 December 1941 and 2 September 1945 as follows:
Navy and Merchant Marine - service in the Bay of Bengal and the prescribed area of the Indian Ocean, or for shore service under same criteria as Army. The 1939-45 Star must be earned first.
Army - operational service in Burma, and, in addition, provinces of Bengal and Assam between 1 May 1942 and 31 December 1943; provinces of Bengal and Assam east of the Brahmaputra between 1 January 1944 and 2 September 1945; China and Malaya between 16 February 1942 and 2 September 1945.
Air Force - air crew service in operations against the enemy (one operational sortie qualifies).


The Burma Star



The Italy Star

Awarded as follows:
Army - for entry into operational service on land in Sicily or Italy during the campaign there, between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945.
Navy and Merchant Marine - service in the Mediterranean Sea directly connected with active operations in the Mediterranean theatre, or for shore service under same criteria as Army. The 1939-45 Star must be earned first.
Air Force - air crew service in operations against the enemy within the Mediterranean theatre including sorties from the Mediterranean area over Europe.


Awarded for entry into operational service on land in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945.
Navy and Merchant Marine - One days service afloat in the prescribed areas of the North Sea, the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.

A person qualifying for this Star and the Air Crew Europe Star and the Atlantic Star is awarded only the first earned, plus Clasps for the others. A silver rose emblem is worn on the ribbon bar to denote the award of a bar.


The France and Germany Star



The Defence Medal

Awarded to members:
serving for six months in specified non-operational areas subjected to enemy air attack or closely threatened;
who served for six months at any time between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 in the Northern Territory north of 14 30' South and the Torres Strait Islands;
serving for 12 months non-specified non-operational service overseas from or outside Australia; or
of Mine and Bomb Disposal units employed in areas subjected to enemy air attack or closely threatened for three months within the periods stated.


Awarded to members who served full-time in operational or non-operational service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. The qualifying period is 28 days.

For the Merchant Marine, the 28 days must be served at sea.

A member Mentioned in Dispatches for service during World War 2 wears a bronze oak leaf emblem on the ribbon. Only one emblem is worn no matter how many times a member may have been 'mentioned'. 


The War Medal 1939-45



The Australia Service Medal 1939-45

Awarded for 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time service at home or overseas in the Australian Armed Forces and the Australian Mercantile marine between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

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