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Defence Honours & Awards

Imperial Awards

1939-1945 Star

The 1939-45 Star is awarded for service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 for:

  • a period of six months (180 days) operational service for RAN and Army personnel and RAAF non-air crew personnel
  • a period of two months operational service for air crew personnel
  • a period of six months service at sea for Merchant Navy provided at least one voyage was made through one of the specified areas of active operations.

The 1939-45 Star 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 six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The 1939-45 Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.


The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces.


The ‘BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ clasp was awarded to eligible air crew involved in the Battle of Britain.

The ‘BOMBER COMMAND’ clasp was introduced in 2012 and is awarded to eligible Bomber Command aircrew. This award is administered by the Directorate of Honours and Awards (DH&A) on behalf of the UK Government. The clasp is awarded to RAAF personnel who served with UK-based Bomber Command squadrons during World War 2. Upon receipt of an application, assessment for eligibility is completed and details of successful applicants are forwarded to the UK Ministry of Defence. The UK Government then initiate delivery of clasps to DH&A in Australia, for dispatch to those recipients.

Silver Rosette

When the ribbon is worn alone the standard silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp. The silver rosette emblem is not supplied by DH&A.

Source Documents

Summary of Award Conditions of Campaign Stars, the Defence Medal and the War Medal [PDF] [Word]

Amendment to Conditions (Gazette S374) of 17 September 2001 [PDF] [Word]


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