The Italy Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.
This medal was awarded for operational service in Sicily or Italy during the period 11th June 1943 to 8th May 1945.
Royal and Merchant Navy service in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and operations in and around the Dodecanese, Corsica, Greece, Sardinia and Yugoslavia after 11th June 1943 would qualify. The 6 months service for the 1939-45 had to be earned, before service could count towards the Italy Star. This restriction did not apply for those personnel who entered qualifying service within the last 6 months, providing they did not enter another operational command.
Naval shore-based personnel were covered by the Army qualification requirements.
Army personnel had no prior time qualification. The applicable operational area for Army personnel was Aegean, Dodecanese, Corsica, Greece, Sardinia, Yugoslavia and Elba between 11th June 1943 and 8th May 1945. Service in Sicily after 17th August 1943, Sardinia after 19th September 1943 and Corsica after 4th October 1943 did not qualify.
RAF personnel had no prior time qualification. Qualification involved participation in aircrew service within the Mediterranean theatre, including sorties from the Mediterranean area over Europe.
Entry into Austrian Territory during the last few days of the Second World War qualified for this star.
A total of 91,000 medals were issued to Canadians.
The Italy Star Association 1943-45 is a thriving body in the United Kingdom. The main reunion of the Association is in Chichester in May of each year, involving a service of Remembrance in Chichester Cathedral and a parade in the town. Members also take part in the march past the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day in London every year.
The motto of the Association is: "When you walk in peaceful lanes so green - remember us - and think what might have been" We do remember them.
Materials: The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issued 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 Italian Colours are represented on the ribbon, which is white with a central green stripe and red edges.
Type – Campaign Medal
Eligibility – 1 day service
Awarded for – Service.
Campaign – Second World War Italy 1943 - 45
Description - The Italy Star is a six–pointed star of yellow copper zinc alloy, with a height of 44mm and a maximum width of 38mm. The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Italy Star'. The reverse is plain, although Stars issued to Australian and South African personnel have recipient names impressed.
The ribbon for this medal, along with those of the other Second World War campaign stars, is reputed to have been designed by King George VI. Equal width stripes of red, white, green, white and red represent the colours of the Flag of Italy.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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