Italy Star

Continuing our slow and steady survey of British WW2 campaign medals, tonight we come to the Italy Star:imageIf you have read the posts on the 1939-45 Star and the France and Germany Star you will be familiar with the design of this medal, here it is just the ribbon and wording on the star that have changes, with this medal saying (logically enough) ‘THE ITALY STAR’:imageThe ribbon is striped red-white-green-white-red, the colours of the Italian flag:ribbon_-_italy_starThe Italy Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to those who had served in operations in Sicily or Italy during the Italian Campaign, from the capture of Pantellaria on 11 June 1943 to the end of active hostilities in Europe on 8 May 1945, both dates inclusive.

The criteria for award were:

Service afloat

The qualifying sea areas for the award of the Italy Star were the Mediterranean Command, the Aegean, and Albanian and Cretan Waters between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945 inclusive. For service afloat, the qualification requirement was entry into operational service in an operational area in the Mediterranean or in naval operations during the invasion of the South of France, on condition that the six months service requirement for the award of the 1939-1945 Star had been completed.

Casual entry into the qualifying sea areas which was not directly connected with actual operations, service in Merchant Navy vessels landing troops or supplies at ports in North Africa, Palestine, Syria and in Cyprus, or service in vessels at ports in Spain, the Balearic Islands and Turkey east of 30° East, were not regarded as qualifying service for the Italy Star.

The award of a gallantry medal or Mention in Dispatches qualified the recipient for the award of the Italy Star, regardless of service duration. Personnel whose qualifying service period was terminated prematurely by their death or disability due to service were awarded the Star.

Certain special conditions applied governing the award of the Italy Star to those Naval personnel who entered operational service less than six months before the end of the qualifying period. Those who entered operational service in the qualifying area on or after 10 November 1944, were awarded the Italy Star by entry into operational service. In such cases, however, the 1939-1945 Star could not be awarded for service of less than 180 days.

Service ashore

Service on land had no prior time qualification. Qualifying service on land by Army personnel, Naval shore-based personnel and Air Force non-air crew was entry into operational service as part of the establishment in the following areas, all dates inclusive:

  • Aegean from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945.
  • Corsica from 11 June to 4 October 1943.
  • Dodecanese from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945.
  • Greece from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945.
  • Italy, including Elba, from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945.
  • Pantellaria on 11 June 1943.
  • Sardinia from 11 June to 19 September 1943.
  • Sicily from 11 June to 17 August 1943.
  • Yugoslavia from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945.

Air crew who flew on operations against the enemy in the Mediterranean theatre, or over Europe from bases in the Mediterranean area, had no prior time qualification and qualified by an operational sortie. The Italy Star could not, however, be awarded to air crew based elsewhere than in the Mediterranean area. The qualification for flying personnel posted or employed on air transport or ferrying duties was at least three landings in any of the qualifying areas on or during the stipulated dates or periods.

Army personnel who entered Austrian territory during the closing stages of hostilities in Europe were eligible for the Italy Star, but not for the France and Germany Star. Similarly, flights to Europe from bases in the Mediterranean area during the period from 11 July 1943 to 8 May 1945 were qualification for the Italy Star, but not for the France and Germany Star.

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