The Air Crew Europe Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II. Specifically, the medal was awarded to Commonwealth aircrew who participated in operational flights over Europe, from UK bases.
This medal was awarded for operational flying from the UK over Europe, between the period 3rd September 1939 to 5th June 1944 (outbreak of war until the start of the D-Day Normandy Invasion).
The recipient was awarded this star if their service period was terminated by their death or disability due to service. Also the award of a gallantry medal or mention in despatches also produced the award of this medal, regardless of their service duration.
RAF air crew had to complete 2 months service for this medal. However, this 2 months had to come after the service which entitled the person to the 1939-45 Star.
Army personnel qualified for this star if they served on air crew duties for 4 months, and that 2 months of this minimum 4 month period had been operational flying over Europe, with at least one operational sortie.
British uniform regulations stipulated that neither the Atlantic Star nor the France and Germany Star would be awarded to a recipient of the Air Crew Europe Star. Subsequent entitlement to the Atlantic Star or the France and Germany Star was denoted by the award of the appropriate clasp to the Air Crew Europe Star.
The possible Atlantic, Aircrew Europe and France & Germany Star combinations are (remembering that you only received the first two earned of these 3 stars)
Aircrew Europe Star with France & Germany Clasp
Aircrew Europe Star with Atlantic Clasp
Atlantic Star with Aircrew Europe Clasp
Atlantic Star with France & Germany Clasp
France & Germany Star with Atlantic Clasp
Due to the different date ranges, you can't have a Aircrew Europe clasp to a France and Germany Star.
Materials: The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants. The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.
Ribbons: Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed. Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.
Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.
Ribbon – the ribbon is light blue with black edges and yellow stripes, representing continuous service by day and night.
Type – Campaign medal
Eligibility – Two months operational flying
Awarded for – Flying over occupied Europe
Campaign – European Air Operations 1939 – 1944
Description – A six pointed bronze star, in the centre the Royal cipher GRI VI, within a circlet bearing the title “The Air Crew Europe Star”. A crown is positioned on the circlet at 12 o’clock.
Clasps are usually referred to as ‘bars’. They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating the recipient’s service in a particular campaign or battle. The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned. Usually the first earned Clasp is closest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, although they can be found in the wrong order.
Awarded to those who subsequently became entitled to the Atlantic Star.
France and Germany
Awarded to those who subsequently became entitled to the France and Germany Star.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from
<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Air_Crew_Europe_Star >
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