Pacific Star

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The Pacific Star
WW2 Pacific Star.jpg
Awarded by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Type Military campaign medal
Eligibility All Ranks
Awarded for Different for sea and land service
Campaign(s) Pacific 1941–1945
Clasps BURMA
Statistics
Established May 1945
Order of wear
Next (higher) Africa Star
Next (lower) Burma Star
Related Burma Star
Ribbon - Pacific Star.png Ribbon - Pacific Star & Rosette.png
Ribbon bar without and with Burma Clasp rosette

The Pacific 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 Pacific Campaign from 1941 to 1945.[1][2]

One clasp, the Burma Clasp, was instituted to be worn on the medal ribbon.[1][3]

The Second World War Stars[edit]

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.[4][5][6]

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.[7]

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 that had been earned first. The maximum of six possible campaign stars are the following:[1][4][6]

Institution[edit]

At the same time as the Second World War campaigns against the Axis Forces in Africa and Italy, British and American forces were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. This campaign began on 8 December 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, and took place in the sea and air of the Pacific Ocean as well as on the ground, with the Allies defending Malaya and Singapore against Japanese invasion.[14]

Japanese forces quickly gained superiority in the Pacific and managed to invade Malaya, Singapore, Burma and the Philippines with relative ease. The campaign on land ended in Allied defeat on 15 February 1942, when Singapore fell and tens of thousands of servicemen were taken prisoner of war by the Japanese. The campaign at sea continued until 2 September 1945.[14]

The Pacific Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 for award to those who had served in operations in the Pacific Campaign from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, both dates inclusive.[1][2][15]

Award criteria[edit]

The eligibility criteria for the award of the Pacific Star was different for service afloat at sea and service ashore.[1][2]

Service afloat[edit]

Naval personnel qualified for service at sea within certain specified boundaries, but only once the 1939–1945 Star had already been earned. Air Force air crew engaged in operations against the enemy also only qualified once the 1939–1945 Star had already been earned and provided that at least one operational sortie had been completed over the appropriate sea or land area.[1][2][4][14]

Between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, once the 1939–1945 Star had already been earned, Naval and Merchant Navy service of one or more days in the Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea, and in 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° East qualified for the award of the Pacific Star.[1][2][4]

The award of a gallantry medal or Mention in Dispatches qualified the recipient for the award of the Pacific 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.[16]

In 1994, the Australian government conducted a review of the conditions for award of the Pacific Star, as set out in Command Paper 6833 of June 1946. As a result, the conditions for award were amended to include any member of the Australian military who was on board the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur when it was torpedoed and sunk on 14 May 1943. The Pacific Star can be awarded to these men and women regardless of whether they had been awarded or were eligible for the 1939–1945 Star, the Australia Service Medal 1939–1945 or any other campaign award.[17]

Certain special conditions applied governing the award of the Pacific 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 7 March 1945 and who did not thereafter serve in the area qualifying for the Burma Star, could qualify for the award of the Pacific 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.[2]

Service ashore[edit]

Army, Naval and Air Force personnel serving ashore in those territories which had been subjected to enemy or allied invasions had no prior time restriction and qualified upon entry into the prescribed area of land operations.[1][2][4][14]

Qualifying service on land was restricted to operational service in the following territories in which there had been enemy or Allied invasions, service in Burma excluded and all dates inclusive:[1][2]

  • Bismarck Archipelago from 22 January 1942 to 2 September 1945.[2]
  • British North Borneo, Brunei, Sarawak and Dutch Borneo from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Caroline Islands from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Celebes from 26 January 1942 to 2 September 1945.
  • China from 11 December 1941 to 15 February 1942.
  • Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 10 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Guam from 12 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Hong Kong from 8 December 1941 to 25 December 1941.[1]
  • Iwo Jima from 8 December 1941 to 25 December 1941.[2]
  • Java from 5 March 1942 to 2 September 1945.
  • Malaya from 8 December 1941 to 15 February 1942.
  • Marianas from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Marshall Islands from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Molucca Islands from 30 January 1942 to 2 September 1945.
  • Nauru from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • New Guinea from 7 March 1942 to 2 September 1945.
  • Ocean Island from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Okinawa from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Philippines Islands from 10 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.
  • Solomon Islands (British Solomon Islands Protectorate and Australian Mandated Territory) from 1 February 1942 to 2 September 1945.
  • Sumatra from 14 February 1942 to 23 March 1942.[1]
  • Timor from 20 February 1942 to 2 September 1945.[2]
  • Wake Island from 22 December 1941 to 2 September 1945.

Service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra after the respective end dates listed above was recognised by the award of the Burma Star. Servicemen who qualified for the award of both the Pacific Star and Burma Star were awarded only the first Star qualified for, with either the Burma Clasp or Pacific Clasp as the case may be.[1][4][14][15]

Service in Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji Islands, Tonga Islands, Phoenix Islands and Fanning Island did not qualify for the award of the Pacific Star in any respect.[1]

Order of wear[edit]

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.[18]

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.[18]

  • The 1939–1945 Star, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.[7]
  • The Atlantic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.[8]
  • The Arctic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.[11]
  • The Air Crew Europe Star, from 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944, the period until D-Day minus one.[9]
  • The Africa Star, from 10 June 1940 to 12 May 1943, the duration of the North African Campaign.[12]
  • The Pacific Star, from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Pacific War.[2]
  • The Burma Star, from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Burma Campaign.[3]
  • The Italy Star, from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Italian Campaign.[13]
  • The France and Germany Star, from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Northwest Europe Campaign.[10]

Africa Star Pacific Star Burma Star

Description[edit]

The set of nine campaign stars was designed by the Royal Mint engravers. The stars all have a ring suspender that 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.[16]

Obverse

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".[16]

Reverse

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.[4][16][19][20]

Clasp
Ribbon - Pacific Star & Burma.png

The clasp was struck in yellow copper zinc alloy and has a frame with an inside edge that resembles the perforated edge of a postage stamp. It is inscribed "BURMA" and was designed to be sewn onto the medal's ribbon. When medals are not worn, a silver rosette is worn on the ribbon bar to denote the award of the clasp.[1][4][16]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide with a 5½ millimetres wide Army red band, a 3 millimetres wide Navy blue band, a 6 millimetres wide dark green band, a 3 millimetres wide yellow band, a 6 millimetres wide dark green band, a 3 millimetres wide Air Force blue band and a 5½ millimetres wide Army red band. The forests and beaches of the Pacific are represented by the dark green and yellow bands respectively, while the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy, the Armies and the Air Forces are represented by the dark blue, red and light blue bands respectively.[1][14]

The ribbons for this medal and the Defence Medal as well as those of the other Second World War campaign stars, with the exception of the Arctic Star, were devised by King George VI.[1][21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p 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 1 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m New Zealand Defence Force – The Pacific Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 9 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b c New Zealand Defence Force – The Burma Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephen Stratford Medals site – British Military & Criminal History – 1900 to 1999 – Atlantic Star (Access date 1 April 2015)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ a b c The National Archives – Ministry of Defence – Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp (Access date 1 April 2015)
  7. ^ a b c New Zealand Defence Force – The 1939–45 Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  8. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The Atlantic Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 4 April 2015)
  9. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The Air Crew Europe Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  10. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The France and Germany Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  11. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The Arctic Star (Access date 12 April 2015)
  12. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The Africa Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  13. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – The Italy Star Eligibility Rules (Access date 12 April 2015)
  14. ^ a b c d e f GOV.UK – Defence and armed forces – guidance – Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility – Pacific Star: Malaya, Singapore and the Pacific Ocean (Access date 12 April 2015)
  15. ^ a b New Zealand Defence Force – British Commonwealth War And Campaign Medals Awarded To New Zealanders – The Pacific Star (Access date 13 April 2015)
  16. ^ a b c d e Birkenhead Returned Services Association – Military Medals – The Pacific Star (Access date 12 April 2015)
  17. ^ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette no. S 326, Wednesday 4 September 1996. Government House, Canberra ACT 2600. Cat. no. 96 31194. (Access date 17 April 2015) ISSN 1032-2345 The ISBN printed in the document (0644 469335) is invalid, causing a checksum error.
  18. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352. 
  19. ^ Memoirs – My Days With The I.A.F (1940–48) – V S C Bonarjee, IAS (Access date 14 April 2015)
  20. ^ Rear Side of the Medals (Access date 14 April 2015)
  21. ^ Forces War Records – Medals – 1939–1945 Star (Access date 2 April 2015)