War Medal 1939-1945

War Medal 1939-45 (obverse)War Medal 1939-45 (reverse)

The War Medal 1939-45 was awarded for full-time service in the Armed Forces, wherever that service may have been rendered during the war. Operational and non-operational service may be counted, providing that it was of 28 days or more duration.


The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded for 28 days full-time service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

In the Merchant Navy there is a requirement that the 28 days should have been served at sea.

A member qualifies for the award where service was brought to an end by death, wounds or other disabilities due to service or by cessation of hostilities on 2 September 1945.

The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.  Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel. See required evidence to support a claim.

The Medal

The War Medal 1939-45 is cupro-nickel with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse. The reverse has a lion standing on a fallen dragon. The top of the reverse shows the dates 1939 and 1945.

The Ribbon

The War Medal 1939-45 ribbon colours of red, white and blue represent the colours of the Union Flag.


The single bronze oak leaf Emblem signifying either a Mention in Despatches, King's Commendation for brave conduct, or a King's Commendation for valuable service in the air, will, if granted for service during World War II, be worn on the ribbon of the War Medal 1939-45.

Web page last updated 15 August, 2013