Pacific Star

Today’s medal is another of those issued to my Grandfather for his wartime service and thus is on display in my father’s house, hence the quality of the photography not being as high as I would usually include, but I hope you understand why I have chosen to use this example.

The Pacific star was issued from May 1945 onwards to those members of the armed forces and mercantile marine who had served in the far east. The basic medal copies the other campaign stars issued for wartime service, but with a unique ribbon:

The medal ribbon has stripes of red for the army, dark blue for the Royal Navy, light blue for the RAF, green for the forests of South East Asia and yellow for the beaches:

The star itself was described as: the obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher “GRI VI”, surmounted by a crown. A circlet, the top of which is covered by the crown, surrounds the cypher and is inscribed “THE PACIFIC STAR”

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals published the following guidance on the award of the medal in May of 1945:

The Pacific Star

9. (i) A Pacific Star has been instituted for entry into operational service in the Pacific theatre from the 8th December, 1941, until further notice

(ii) The ribbon is dark green with red edges and with a central yellow stripe. There are also two other narrow stripes, one dark blue and the other light blue. The green and yellow stand for the forests and the beaches of the Pacific, the red edges for the Armies, the dark blue stripe for the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navies, and the light blue stripe for the Air Forces. The ribbon is to be worn with the dark blue stripe furthest from the left shoulder.

(iii) The 1939-45 Star must be earned by six, or for air crew, two, months service in operations before a candidate can qualify for the Pacific Star.

(iv) Naval and Merchant Navy service in the Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean east of a line running due south from Singapore round the south-east coast of Sumatra, through Christmas Island, and southwards along the Meridian of 110° E., will be a qualification.. Qualifying service on land will be restricted to operational service in territories in which there have been enemy or Allied invasions, i.e., Hong Kong, the 8th December, 1941, to the 25th December, 1941; Malaya, the 8th December, 1941, to the 15th February, 1942; Nauru, the 8th December, 1941, to the 1st March, 1942; Ocean Island, the 8th December, 1941, to the 26th August, 1942; Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the 10th December, 1941, until a future date to be notified; Borneo and Sarawak, the 17th December, 1941, to the 31st January, 1942 ; Celebes, the 10th January, 1942, to the 26th February, 1942; Bismarck Archipelago, the 22nd January, 1942, to the 24th January, 1942, and the 15th December, 1943, until a future date to be notified; Molucca Islands, the 30th January, 1942, to the 26th February, 1942; Solomon Islands (British Solomon Islands Protectorate and Australian Mandated Territory), the 1st February, 1942, until a future date to be notified; Sumatra, the 14th February, 1942, to the 23rd March, 1942; Timor, the 20th February, 1942, to the 31st March, 1942; Java, the 27th February, 1942, to the 9th March, 1942 ; New Guinea, the 7th March, 1942, until a future date to be notified. Service in Burma is excluded.

(v) The following islands may be mentioned as among those, service in which will not qualify for the Star in any respect : Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji Islands, Tonga Islands, Phoenix Islands, Fanning Island.

(vi) Air crew service in operations against the enemy will qualify.

(vii) For Naval personnel on duty ashore and non-air crew personnel of the Air Force, entry into the prescribed area of land operations will be a qualification.

(viii) A candidate who qualifies for both the Pacific and the Burma Star mentioned below will be awarded only one of these, the Star first earned. A Clasp will be awarded with it denoting that service which would have qualified for the other Star has been rendered. A silver rose Emblem will be worn to denote the award of the Burma or Pacific Clasp as the case may be.

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