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Thread: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

  1. #1
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    Default Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    I have a question regarding the authority for awarding for instance the DFC or campaign medals that were issued in Britain and the Commonwealth. The interest derives from the fact that I am uncertain that the database structure, I am using for my website is correct.

    Let me give an example:

    A Dane in the RAF is awarded the DFC. Another Dane in the RCAF is awarded the DFC.

    For simplicity, I have regarded the first two as the same medal and not distinguished between a British award and a Canadian award, and regarded the US DFC as a completely different deal. As a consequence all my Danish DFC are registrered as awarded in Britain.

    But thatís wrong isnít it? But is the right solution to have different DFCs for each country in my database structure OR to be able to assign different countries to the same medal. Before changing my database structure, I would like to be certain.

    Mikkel
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 31st May 2022 at 17:05.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    My guess would be that all recommendations for operational decorations (and non-operational for that matter) or other awards, would commence with the individual's commanding officer, and then go up the chain of command (with risk of being downgraded or even refused) and the final say by whoever was the top authority (with perhaps other opinions being requested from other senior or more knowledgeable persons if in any way questionable or complex). There was also a rule that only one award could be made to an individual for any specific incident, or more likely for a period of active service (operational or non-operational) in which the individual was considered to have performed his/her duties in an exemplary manner and to the degree considered to be deserving of such an award. However I have seen mention of one or two individuals being awarded both a British and an American operational award which to me appear to have been recommended by the two Allied services without either apparently having any idea that they were making what appeared to me to be duplicate awards. Quite rare I think, but possible. So far as I know, all British Commonwealth forces used the same awards and honours system throughout WW2, and these could of course be awarded to all Allied military personnel.

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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    RAF aircrew were sometimes awarded both the british DFC and the American DFC - totally separate awards and they were authorised to wear both ribbons/medals.

    In the case of Adrian Warburton it would be written as DSO*,DFC**,DFC (USA).

    It worked the other way round as well - Curtis Le May was awarded the DFC**(USA) and also DFC(british),the british ribbon clearly showing in this pic.


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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    An example of two awards for the same deed - F/O K.O. Moore, RCAF, No.224 Squadron - DSO for sinking two U-Boats in one sortie but also awarded American Silver Star for the same feat.

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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    Wasn't supposed to happen (at least in British Commonwealth forces where it was specifically NOT PERMITTED) but it did happen (occasionally).

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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    Thank you all for clarifying. In my registration of Danish Air Force members, I register among other things

    a) the award
    b) the award country

    I gather the following from the above: A DFC or a 1939-45 Start was principally the same award no matter if it was awarded in for instance the RAF, the RCAF or the RAAF, but as I make note of the country, it seems relevant to be able to distinguish between an award in the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia in order to be able to distinguish between

    Kind regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: Authority for eg DFC and campaign stars in Britain and Commonwealth

    So far as I know, all the PHYSICAL awards, whether they be actual campaign medals, ribbons, rosettes,or bravery decorations, were ALL manufactured in the same factories in the United Kingdom, and all were awarded using (so far as we can tell) the same book of rules as to eligibility, etc. In the case of any disagreement or confusion about the legality or misunderstanding of the conditions for eligibility of the award, the various parties involved were to confer with the experts in the United Kingdom, who held the ultimate authority as these were, first and foremost, British awards. British Commonwealth countries had to go along with the rules as they stood, although sometimes these Governments argued the toss on occasions as to the fairness or otherwise of rulings of the Air ministry experts, and I guess that Allied (that is, non-Commonwealth) recipients of awards had to also go along generally with these rulings. All could probably appeal any ruling made in London, but they could not overrule that authority (at least that is my belief). It should not be too difficult to locate more authoritative descriptions of these rules somewhere, perhaps somebody else on this site might have some suggestions?

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