The 1939 - 1945 Star

The medal was awarded for operational service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945

1939 - 1945 Star
BoB Clasp

Battle of Britian Clasp
Bomber Command Clasp

Bomber Command Clasp  
Military Division:

  Army personnel had to complete 180 days service in an operational command.

  Airborne troops qualified if they had participated in any airborne operations and had

completed 60 days service in a fully operational unit.

  Naval personnel qualified after 180 days afloat between certain specified dates in areas

of operations as laid out in the regulations.

  Merchant Navy personnel qualified if they completed 180 days service

with at least 1 voyage made through an operational area.

  RAF air crew qualified with 60 days service in an operational unit including at least one operational  sortie.

Note: Air crew of fighter aircraft engaged in the Battle of Britain

between 10 July and 31 October 1940 were awarded

the clasp ‘Battle of Britain’ to be worn on the ribbon of the 1939 to 1945 Star.

Non-aircrew personnel qualified on completion of 180 days service in an area

of operational army command.

  Royal Observer Corps personnel required service for 1,080 days.

  Additionally the award of a gallantry medal or Mention in Despatches also produced the award

of this medal,  regardless of service duration


  The 1939–45 Star is a six–pointed star of yellow copper zinc alloy, with a height of 44mm and maximum width of 38mm


Has a central design of the Royal Cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet

containing the words ‘The 1939–1945 Star


The reverse is plain, with the recipient's name impressed only for Australians and South Africans.


Battle of Britain Clasp, Bomber Command Clasp


The laurel leaves on the underside of a straight bar attached to the medal by a single-toe claw


The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue.

The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy

The red stripe the Armies

The light blue stripe the Air Forces.

Awarded to:

  The 1939 to 1945 Star was awarded for any period of operational service overseas between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945

(2 September 1945 in the Far East).

  The criteria was 180 days’ service between these dates, although some special criteria apply when, at certain specified times,

just 1 days’ service was required.

  These latter instances were actions for which a more specific campaign medal was not issued and examples are ---

France or Belgium: 10 May to 19 June 1940,  St.Nazaire 22–28 March 1942,  Dieppe: 19 August 1942,

Iraq: 10 April to 25 May 1941 and Burma (Enemy Invasion): 22 February 1942 to 15 May 1942
©Crown Copyright/MOD 2008