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Thread: Medal entitlement?

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    Default Medal entitlement?

    Hi,
    I need help clarifying what medals my Uncle would have been entitled to.
    He flew in Stirlings, initially with 196 Sqdn from Feb 44 to July 44.
    They flew many SOE trips and then took paratroops to Pegasus Bridge, Ranville on the night of 5th June for D Day.
    They then joined 570 Sqn and took a glider to Arnhem and were shot down and all killed on their 3rd re-supply drop on 23rd Sept 1944.

    The Forces War Records site only shows an entitlement of 39-45 War Medal & 39-45 Star.
    Would he also have ben entitled to the Air Crew Europe Star and France & Germany Star?

    Wikipedia shows:-

    The Air Crew Europe Star was awarded for operational flying from bases in the United Kingdom over Europe from the outbreak of the Second World War on 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944, the day before the D-Day Normandy Invasion, both dates inclusive. For air crew of the Royal Air Force, two months of operational flying was required in order to qualify for the award of the Air Crew Europe Star.

    The France and Germany Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, for award to those who had served in operations on land or in the air in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany from 6 June 1944 until the end of active hostilities in Europe on 8 May 1945

    Many thanks
    Paul

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Paul,

    It wasn't possible to be awarded both the Air Crew Europe and the France and Germany Stars.

    I suspect from the service you've outlined, your uncle would have been awarded the Air Crew Europe Star, with the bar 'France and Germany'.

    All the best,

    Geoff

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Hi

    Bear in mind that the website Forces War Records don't actually have access to full service records so they would only be able to give medal entitlements based on basic information. He would also probably be entitled to the Defence Medal

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Good Morning,

    The requirements for the 39-45 Star for RAF aircrew were in recognition of overseas service between 3 Sep 39 and either - 8 May 45 in Europe, or 2 Sep 45 in the Far east. It required (for aircrew) 60 days operational service. So if he was flying operationally from Feb 44-Sep 44 - he would in all likelihood be eligible for the 39-45 Star.

    Just remember that the star scheme was sequential - at least as far as the second star was concerned. One had to earn the 39-45 Star first, before operational service for the award of a subsequent star would commence.

    So the date on which he began his operational flying in February becomes important as the earlier in the month it was, the more likely he would've completed his first 60 days (to be awarded the 39-45 star) and still have time to complete the operational service for the second star. If he started operational flying after 6 Feb it becomes muddied.

    For the Air Crew Europe star he would need an additional 60 days of operational service after the 39-45 Star was earned for service between 3 Sep 39 and prior to 5 Jun. In his case it looks like Feb to Mar, Mar to Apr (counts as first 60 days), Apr to May and May to Jun (counts as second 60 days). But he would've needed to commence operational flying with 196 Sqn prior to, or on 5 Feb in order to complete the 60 days for the 39-45 Star and an additional 60 Days for the Air Crew Europe star prior to 5 Jun. The Aircrew Europe star was not awarded for operational service after 5 Jun.

    For the France and Germany star as aircrew, he only requires an additional 1 "Op" (operational sortie) over France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands or Germany to qualify.

    So all that to say his entitlements are dependent upon when he began operational flying, but as a minimum he would be eligible for the 39/45 Star (with Bomber Command Bar), War Medal and the Defence Medal. He potentially also is eligible for either the Air Crew Europe star (in which case he is also eligible for the France and Germany Clasp in lieu of the second star) or the France and Germany Star (with no clasps).

    There was some recent traffic about muddled eligibility for the Air Crew Europe Star depending on whether the member was flying operational missions to Europe while at an OTU. You may wish to research that angle as well.

    Mike
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Quote Originally Posted by anglin.mj View Post
    So all that to say his entitlements are dependent upon when he began operational flying, but as a minimum he would be eligible for the 39/45 Star (with Bomber Command Bar), War Medal and the Defence Medal. He potentially also is eligible for either the Air Crew Europe star (in which case he is also eligible for the France and Germany Clasp in lieu of the second star) or the France and Germany Star (with no clasps).
    Mike,

    I thought 196 Sqn was part of 38 Group during the period in question. As 38 Group was not part of Bomber Command, its aircrew members would not be entitled to receive the Bomber Command Clasp?

    Rgds

    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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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    I'm with Jonny re entitlement (or rather lack of it) to the Bomber Command clasp.

    Mike raises an interesting issue re the issue of 'operational service' and when that actually commences. I see that Mike interprets it as being from his first operation with an operational squadron. I have the different view and take it to be from the date of posting to an operational squadron. This could be some weeks in reality before an operation was undertaken.

    I also think it not a 'given' that Paul's uncle was entitled to a Defence Medal.

    The qualifications for these awards are complex and are frequently discussed on the British Medal Forum, which I also belong to. The best option in reality is for Paul to apply to the MOD Medal Office and seek clarification of which awards were made to his uncle's next of kin.

    Geoff

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Geoff and Jonny,

    Apologies for not doing due diligence on the Command that 196 Sqn was attached to. That would drive the entitlement to the Bomber Command Bar. Sorry for confusion.

    Service with 196 Sqn was not exclusionary for being awarded either the Aircrew Europe or France and Germany Star. I agree that specific advice should be garnered for the ACE or F&G star from the MOD Medal office.

    With respect to the Defence Medal, the relevant para from the Great Britain Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals 1947 states,

    (viii) Special awards

    (a) Service in eligible categories brought to an end before the period of three years or twelve or three months service has been completed, either by death due to enemy action when on duty, or by injuries entitling the candidate to a Wound Stripe, will be a qualification for the grant of the Defence Medal.”

    Mike
    Last edited by anglin.mj; 20th September 2020 at 02:08.
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    Mike,

    Sorry for taking you to task again, but the para you quote has nothing to do with this particular set of circumstances. Time accrued towards the Defence Medal would have ceased as soon as he began flying on ops. At that point the clock started ticking for the 39/45 Star. Granted, if a person who was serving in an 'elgible catagory' became a casualty, he / she would have got it. This man was not earning time towards the Defence Medal when he died (i.e. not serving in an eligible catagory). It is unclear from the info provided whether he would have earned the medal before he started ops.

    As you rightly point out; best ask MODMO for confirmation of medal entitlement and confirmation that the medals were actually claimed by the NoK. If they were not claimed, the medals can still be issued by the UK MOD.

    Rgds

    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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    Default Re: Medal entitlement?

    I should post some justification for my assertion that 'operational service' starts on posting to an operational squadron.

    This from Command Paper 6833, June 1946, in regard to the award of the 1939-45 Star:

    'For the 1939-45 Star the qualification is six months operational service, or for air crew, two months, including at least one operational sortie. Service my be aggregated....'

    Geoff

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