|The Italy Star|
|Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India|
|Type||Military campaign medal|
|Awarded for||Different for sea and land service|
|Order of wear|
|Next (higher)||Burma Star|
|Next (lower)||France and Germany Star|
|Related||1943–1944 Italian campaign medal|
The Italy Star is a military campaign medal, instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth who served in the Second World War, specifically in the Italian Campaign from 1943 to 1945.
The Second World War Stars
Altogether eight campaign stars and nine clasps were initially instituted for campaign service during the Second World War. On 8 July 1943, the 1939–1945 Star and the Africa Star were the first two of these Stars to be instituted. One more campaign star, the Arctic Star, and one more clasp, the Bomber Command Clasp, were belatedly added on 26 February 2013, more than sixty-seven years after the end of the war.
Only one of these campaign stars, the 1939–1945 Star, covered the full duration of the Second World War from its outbreak on 3 September 1939 to the victory over Japan on 2 September 1945.
No-one could be awarded more than five (now six) campaign stars and no-one could be awarded more than one clasp to any one campaign star. Five of the nine (now ten) clasps were the equivalents of their namesake campaign stars and were awarded for the same respective campaigns as those stars, to be worn on the ribbon of that campaign star of the applicable group which had been earned first. The maximum of six possible campaign stars are the following:
- The 1939–1945 Star with, if awarded, either the Battle of Britain Clasp or the Bomber Command Clasp.
- Only one of the Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star or France and Germany Star and, if awarded, the first to be earned respectively of the Air Crew Europe Clasp, France and Germany Clasp or Atlantic Clasp, to be worn on the ribbon of that one of these three campaign stars to have been first earned and awarded.
- The Arctic Star.
- The Africa Star with, if awarded, the first to be earned of the North Africa 1942–43 Clasp, 8th Army Clasp or 1st Army Clasp.
- Either the Pacific Star or Burma Star or, if awarded, either the Burma Clasp or Pacific Clasp respectively, to be worn on the ribbon of that one of these two campaign stars to have been first earned and awarded.
- The Italy Star.
After their victory in North Africa, the Allies used their positions in Tunisia and Malta to invade Sicily. The campaign in Sicily took place from 10 July to 17 August 1943. After this swift victory, the Allies pressed on into Italy and, when the Italian Campaign began on 3 September 1943, became the first Allied forces to land back in Europe since the war began. They also invaded Italian occupied Greece, Yugoslavia, Corsica and Sardinia. The campaign in Italy itself continued until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May 1945.
The 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 eligibility criteria for the award of the Italy Star was different for service afloat at sea and service ashore.
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 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.
Order of wear
Campaign medals and stars are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are all grouped together as taking precedence after the Queen's Medal for Chiefs and before the Polar Medals, in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded.
The order of wear of the nine campaign stars was determined firstly by their respective campaign start dates, secondly by the campaign's duration and thirdly by their dates of institution.
- The 1939–1945 Star, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.
- The Atlantic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.
- The Arctic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.
- The Air Crew Europe Star, from 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944, the period until D-Day minus one.
- The Africa Star, from 10 June 1940 to 12 May 1943, the duration of the North African Campaign.
- The Pacific Star, from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Pacific War.
- The Burma Star, from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Burma Campaign.
- The Italy Star, from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Italian Campaign.
- The France and Germany Star, from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Northwest Europe Campaign.
The set of nine campaign stars was designed by the Royal Mint engravers. The stars all have a ring suspender which passes through an eyelet formed above the uppermost point of the star. They are six–pointed stars, struck in yellow copper zinc alloy to fit into a 44 millimetres diameter circle, with a maximum width of 38 millimetres and 50 millimetres high from the bottom point of the star to the top of the eyelet.
The reverse is plain and, as with the other Second World War campaign medals, a no engraving policy was applied by all but three British Commonwealth countries. The recipient's name was impressed on the reverse for Australians, Indians and South Africans. In the case of Indians, this consisted of the recipient's force number, rank, initials, surname and service arm or corps, and in the case of South Africans, of the force number, initials and surname, in block capitals.
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with a 7 millimetres wide red band and a 6 millimetres wide white band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 6 millimetres wide green band. The colours are those of the Flag of Italy.
- Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals in Time of War (May 1945). "Campaign Stars and the Defence Medal (Regulations)". London: HM Stationery Office. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Italy Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- Stephen Stratford Medals site - British Military & Criminal History - 1900 to 1999 - Atlantic Star (Access date 1 April 2015)
- War Service (Decorations) - Statement in the House of Commons by Winston Churchill on 3 August 1943 (HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2091-3) (Access date 9 April 2015)
- The National Archives - Ministry of Defence - Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp (Access date 1 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The 1939-45 Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Atlantic Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 4 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Air Crew Europe Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The France and Germany Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Arctic Star (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Africa Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Burma Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - The Pacific Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 9 April 2015)
- GOV.UK - Defence and armed forces – guidance - Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility - Italy Star (Access date 17 April 2015)
- Italy Star Association 1943-1945 - About us (Access date 17 April 2015)
- New Zealand Defence Force - British Commonwealth War And Campaign Medals Awarded To New Zealanders - The Italy Star (Access date 17 April 2015)
- The London Gazette: . 17 March 2003. (Access date 14 April 2015)
- Birkenhead Returned Services Association - Military Medals - The Italy Star (Access date 17 April 2015)
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- Rear Side of the Medals (Access date 14 April 2015)
- Forces War Records - Medals - 1939-1945 Star (Access date 2 April 2015)