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Thread: Medal award anomoly

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    Default Medal award anomoly

    I'm trying to track down an anomoly on the medals received by two of my Dad's crew.

    My father, F/Sgt John Wainwright (Bomb Aimer) received the Air Crew Europe Star with France & Germany Clasp, whereas his Rear Gunner Sgt Bob Routledge received the France & Germany Star.

    They crewed together from being posted to 82 OTU (September to November 1943), through 1657 HCU (February 44) and 5 LFS (March 44) then being posted to 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron on the 15th March 1944 where they completed 20 operations together before my father was part of the crew of ME699 that was shot down on the night of 4th/5th July 1944, while Bob missed that one due to illness and completed his tour with other crews.

    Their first operational flight with 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron was the infamous Nuremburg raid, 30th March 1944.

    As I read it aircrew had to qualify for the 1939-45 Star first (60 days with an operational unit, and at least one sortie) and then another 60 days and at least one sortie to qualify for the ACE Star, all of which had to be before D Day,

    These dates meant that they were posted to 44 Squadron too late to qualify for the ACE Star, which makes Bob Routledge's France & Germany Star correct, yet my dad has the ACE Star and France & Germany Clasp (it's on my wall at home) and it is clearly written up as such in his RAF release papers.

    So, is this a ricket by the authorities in 1946, or did my Dad fly operationally while training to qualify for the ACE Star? If so, where do I look for that detail? Does anyone have access to the right ORB's to check?

    I have seen Bob's logbook and there is no sign of them flying operationally in training in it, but don't have my own dad's sadly which would be an easy way to check, it wasn't in his papers when they were passed to me.

    Background can be found at my website http://lancaster-me699.co.uk/home-2/...rew/index.html

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Mike Wainwright

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    Hi Mike

    I am happy to be corrected but suspect it may be due to your dad being shot down and captured. The award of Stars was usually made before the qualifying period, if the tour in question ended in death or capture.

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm,

    I wondered if it was because Dad was shot down that the award was different, but that happened after D-Day (so into France and Germany Star time) and he wasn't captured, he evaded.

    Anyone know definitively?

    Mike

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    Hi Mike

    Back to the drawing board then

    Malcolm

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    This post was picked up by a lady working for a group campaigning for a specific Bomber Command Medal, who pointed out that there was an anomoly around the entitlement to the Air Crew Europe Star that was addressed by the MOD in 1946 but little known and often implemented badly, which meant that Bon Routledge should have been awarded the ACE Star with France and Germany clasp and not the F&G Star.

    "During our research we came across a 1946 change of rule regarding this award. To cut a long story short the medals office have not been interpreting the rules correctly and this now forms part of our campaign.

    Your father’s award is correct, when you combine the change of rule that we found with POW and evaders it gets a bit complicated but I understand your father ‘s circumstances to be that because he had already earnt the 1939-45 Star, he had started qualifying for the Air Crew Europe Star before he was shot down.


    Although I cannot guarantee it, (this is the medals office), I believe that Bob was entitled to an Air Crew Europe star because of the rule that we managed to clarify with the MOD, although to be sure I would want to see a copy of his log book for the dates between his posting to the base and his completion of tour on 14th August 1944. If you would like to pass my email onto Bob’s daughter’s then we’d be happy to have a look into this and see if we think it maybe worth having another bash at the medals office. It would be a shame for the family not to have this award if their father was entitled to it and if they want to pursue it, we could help with a supporting letter."

    I am happy to report that the family have followed this up and have the above has been confirmed. They are having the ACE Star and clasp reissued very shortly.

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    Surely this has nothing to do with the mythical 'change of rule' mentioned in the post above - which I have asked for, but yet to see in writing. As I see it, Bob qualified for the 39/45 Star on 30 May 1944, i.e. 60 days after the commencement of his operational tour on 30 March 1944. He would have earned the ACE Star 60 days after that. The F&G Clasp would have been earned as a result of one operational sortie after earning the ACE, i.e. after the 60 day - point post 6 June 1944.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Gents, I too would be interested to see what the anomaly was. Background: Command Paper 6633, issued in May 45, was replaced by Command Paper 6833, issued in Jun 46. 6833 was the base document for both AMO A741 and the WO Booklet (8533 date 11 Jun 48) in relation to Campaign Stars etc.

    Both Command Papers note that where an airman was captured subsequent to completing his two months’ operational service, but before he could complete the further two months towards the Air Crew Europe Star (ACE), time spent as a POW could be counted towards the ACE qualifying period. (AMO A 741 notes that two months is 61 days.)

    Unfortunately there are subtle differences between 6833, AMO A741, and the WO Booklet that are being interpreted by mere mortals. I suspect the anomaly maybe, whether the two months’ service for the ACE subsequent to the two months for the 39-45 Star had to be complete by 5 Jun? Command Paper 6833 and AMO A741 would suggest that it did. I am also at a loss to see how John Wainwright qualified for an F&G Clasp as Command Paper 6833 states that, “Service qualifying for one of the Stars cannot run concurrently with service qualifying for another of the Stars”. If service for the ACE was able to run past 5 Jun 44 then John would have qualified on or about 25 Jul 44. He was shot down on the night 4/5 Jul thus did not complete the one operational sortie, subsequent to his qualification for the ACE, required for the F&G clasp.

    I would remind you of my statement about interpretation and mere mortals, but think for everybody’s sanity this anomaly has to be “made public” so we can all benefit from the amendment.
    Last edited by Terry; 3rd February 2020 at 06:40.

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    Terry,

    Thanks for your comments. It is indeed complicated stuff. I'd still love to understand what this '1946 change of rule' is, however, the 'group campaigning for a specific Bomber Command Medal' have not been forthcoming - at least not on a public forum.

    All the best

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    I don't know about all these rules, and my original interest was simply that two men who flew together operationally were awarded different campaign medals, which made no sense to me. It was stated to me that the two 60 day operational periods ran consequetively in which case the Young crew did not complete the second 60 days before D-Day, therefore should have been awarded the F&G Star. Fair enough, except I have the ACE Star and F&G Clasp hanging in my study! Hence my original question.

    The letter that Bob Routledge's family were supplied and was sent to the Medal Office read as follows:

    I am writing to support a request for you to look at an application of the award of the Air Crew Europe Star for Mr Bob Routledge. The reasons for this arise from a meeting on 10th October 2018 with the Rt. Hon. the Earl Howe PC, in his capacity as Minster responsible for Honours and Awards, which was arranged in order to discuss some issues relating to the medallic recognition for Bomber Command servicemen.
    It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Defence, from a document found in our research, that the “letter of the law” interpretation of the 1939-45 Star having to be earned first is not correct. Air Ministry document in Air Ministry File No. A.804202/45, dated 13.02.1946 states, “The 1939-45 Star must still be earned also, but it need not be earned first.”
    I would be extremely grateful if you would consider the following as it directly relates to Mr Routledge.
    The statement in the document referred to above supports the change in rules between the published 1945 Campaign Star statement and the published 1946 Campaign Star statement:


    1. Command Paper 6633 published in May 1945 states:

    “(iii) The 1939-45 Star must be earned by six, or for air crew, two months service in operations before a person can begin to qualify for the Air Crew Europe Star.


    1. Command Paper 6833 published in June 1946 states:


    “(ii) The 1939-45 Star must be earned by six, or for air crew, two months service in operations before a person can begin to qualify for the Air Crew Europe Star.
    (iii) Four months service as air crew in an operational unit, any two months of which qualify for the Air Crew Europe Star, is regarded, however, as a qualification for that Star.

    The changed rule means that whilst aircrew still have to serve four months in total (120 days), there is no rule to state that the 2 months (60 days) qualification for the 1939-45 Star cannot be served after 5th June 1944, i.e. from D-Day onwards.
    The Rt. Hon. the Earl Howe PC has advised us to advise servicemen or their families who believe that they are entitled to this award, in light of this interpretation, to write to the medals office.
    Bob Routledge’s first operation was 30th March 1944 and last his operation was 14th August 1944, which was a total of 138 days. As the first 60 days can be attributed to the Air Crew Europe Star, this was earned well before D-Day, having a total of 68 days available.
    Therefore Mr Routledge did in fact serve 60 days before D-Day. He finished his tour on 14th August 1944, and so completed a further 78 days to earn the 1939-45 Star. He served for more than four months, he qualifies for the 1939-45 Star and because he served more than two months (60 days) before 6th June 1944 he now satisfies the eligibility criteria for the Air Crew Europe Star as determined in June 1946.
    In that regard I would be most grateful if you could apply these eligibility rules to Mr Routledge’s case.
    I sincerely believe that he qualifies for the award of an Air Crew Europe Star.

    They have been successful in this, so....

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    Thanks Mike. Unfortunately, a Command Paper circulated by the Air Ministry does not qualify as a change in policy. Apart from the obvious fact that the Air Ministry did not have the authority to change the award criteria for medals, the extant warrant and eligibility rules that I have seen, all still state that an individual needed to qualify for the 39/45 Star first. From the scant evidence available, there is also no evidence that either the Admiralty or War Office, both of whom also owned flying personnel, adopted (an Air Ministry?) 'change in rules' is also pertinent in this case. All a bit of a Horlicks really. Still, if the MODMO have changed their eligibility regs, who am I to comment....
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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