The Minute Book
Monday, 17 March 2014

Priority on New Medal Ribbons (1945)
Topic: Medals
1939-1945 Star Atlantic Star Air Crew Europe Star Africa Star Pacific Star Burma Star
Italy Star France and Germany Star Defence Medal Canadian Volunteer Service Medal 1939-1945 War Medal

First Priority on New Ribbons Given Soldiers Heading Home; Theatre Entry All That's Needed

The Maple Leaf; 18 July 1945

London—First priority on the issue of the new campaign stars, just authorized for the Canadian forces, will go to personnel proceeding to Canada for employment with the Pacific force, repatriation or discharge personnel.

This policy is due, in some degree, to the fact that the material for the new ribbons is in short supply for the time being. For instance, stocks now in hand at CRU in England would provide for distribution, in accordance with the authorized scale of 1 ¼ inches per medal, of 13,000 of the 1939-45 Stars, 28,000 Italy Stars and 56,000 France and Germany Stars. However, as the stocks are issued to formations in bulk, experience has shown the numbers actually supplied would be considerably reduced and would be reduced even further if issues of more than one ribbon to any individuals were made. It should be noted that these figures are for UK releases only and do not include issues to First Canadian Army which are to be made to the extent possible from these supplies of ribbon provided to it on the continent. Even there they have such a small supply, as yet, that the issue must be controlled and is being made only to those proceeding to the UK for onward movement to Canada.

Canadian Military Headquarters has been advised from Canada that supplies of ribbon for the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star and France and Germany Star will not be available in bulk from there until September.

Order of Precedence

The new decorations take precedence over the Canadian Volunteer Service medal and are to be worn in the following order: 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal.

Eligible to wear the decorations subject to the proper qualifications are all officers and other ranks, male and female, of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Canadians of both sexes who are officers of other ranks in the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Colonies or any part of the British Commonwealth. Also eligible will be accredited Canadian war Correspondents, members of the Canadian Red Cross, St Johns Ambulance Society and voluntary aid detachments serving in theatres of operation provided they are fulltime uniformed workers.

To qualify for an award of the 1949-45 Star an individual must have an aggregate of six months (180 days) operational service in the army or two months (60 days) in the RCAF. Exceptions to this rule are made for those who took part in the Dieppe, Sicily or Spitzbergen operations, for those who won an honor, decoration or mention for service in an operational Theatre, and those who died on service or were evacuated as a result of wounds or sickness arising out of service.

Generally speaking, a man must first qualify for the 1939-45 Star before becoming eligible for the Pacific, Burma, Italy or France and Germany Stars. After this qualification of six months operational service, with the exceptions noted above, he becomes immediately eligible for the other awards. However, those whose only operational service has been in Italy or Northwest Europe during the last six months of operations there, could not give the required six months service for the 1939-45 Star, and thus could not qualify for the Italy or France and Germany Stars.

This would mean they would have no star to show they had served in Italy or Northwest Europe. To meet these circumstances individuals who entered in to operational service in Italy or France, etc., during the last six months of the campaign in Europe, and by May 8, 1945, had not aggregated six months operational service, will qualify only for Italy or France and Germany Star.

For the Atlantic Star, qualifications for Canadians are the same as for the Royal navy which stipulate 180 days service afloat in home waters, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, or with convoys to North Russia. RCAF air crew will be eligible if they have taken part in operations against the enemy at sea within the areas qualifying naval personnel.

The Air Crew Europe Star, instituted for Operations flying over Europe and the United Kingdom, calls for a time qualification of 61 days service in air crew so employed between September 3, 1939, and June 5, 1944.

As the Africa Star which now may be worn along with the 1939-45 Star, will be granted for service in North Africa from the date of entry of Italy into the war on June 10, 1940, up to the date of cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa May 12, 1943.

The Pacific Star is for operational service in the Pacific Theatre. Canadians who served in Hong Kong in December, 1941, will qualify for this award. The Burma Star goes for operational service in the Burma campaign which is still proceeding.

The Italy Star has been instituted for entry into operational service on land in Italy or Sicily at any time during the campaign there from the capture of Pantellaria on June 11, 1943, to May 8, 1945.

Entry into Area

The France and Germany Star has been instituted for service in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany and to qualify for this star an individual must have entered one of these countries on operational service between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945.

The Defence Medal, as far as Canadians are largely concerned, will be granted to those with one year non-operational service in Britain. If service was with mine and bomb disposal units of the forces then the time qualification is three months.

All Ranks who consider themselves eligible for any of the new awards will make application for authority to wear the appropriate ribbons on a form supplied. Following certification by the OC of the unit of the accuracy of the claims made, entitlement will be published in unit Part II Orders which will then be the authority to wear the ribbons.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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