Tonight, after a gap of quite a few months, we look at another campaign medal from the Second World War, in this case the 1939-45 star:The design of the star exactly mirrors that of the France and Germany Star we looked at here, but the scroll reads ‘The 1939-1945 Star’:The ribbon has equal bands of dark blue, light blue and red:These represent the Royal Navy, Royal Air force and Army, each band is the same width to represent the equal contribution of each force, as with all these medals, the ribbon was designed by George VI. The 1939–1945 Star was awarded for any period of operational service overseas between 3 September 1939 and either 8 May 1945 in Europe or 2 September 1945 in the Far East theatre. The broad criteria were 180 days of service between these dates, with more specific criteria depending on service arm.
Naval personnel qualified after 180 days afloat between certain specified dates in areas of operations as laid out in the regulations.
- Army personnel had to complete 180 days of service in an operational command.
- Airborne troops qualified if they had participated in any airborne operations and had completed 60 days of service in a fully operational unit.
- Air Force air crew qualified after 60 days of service in an operational unit, including at least one operational sortie. The 1939-45 Star was also awarded to crews of transport aircraft that flew over certain specified routes. Air crew of fighter aircraft engaged in the Battle of Britain were also awarded the Battle of Britain Clasp, while air crew of bomber aircraft who participated in at least one operational sortie in a Bomber Command operational unit were awarded the Bomber Command Clasp in 2013.
- Ground crew and other Air force personnel qualified upon completion of 180 days of service in an area of operational army command.
- Merchant Navy personnel qualified upon completion of 180 days of service with at least one voyage made through an operational area.