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World War II Victory Medal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World War II Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal
TypeMilitary service medal
Presented byDepartment of War and Department of the Navy
EligibilityServed in the armed forces between the dates of 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946.
Ribbon for World War II Victory Medal

Streamer for World War II Victory Medal
Next (higher)European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
EquivalentMerchant Marine World War II Victory Medal
Next (lower)Army of Occupation Medal or
Navy Occupation Service Medal

The World War II Victory Medal is a service medal of the United States military which was established by an Act of Congress on 6 July 1945 (Public Law 135, 79th Congress) and promulgated by Section V, War Department Bulletin 12, 1945.[1][2]

The World War I Victory Medal is the corresponding medal from World War I.


The World War II Victory Medal was first issued as a service ribbon referred to as the “Victory Ribbon.” The World War II Victory Medal was established by an Act of Congress on 6 July 1945 (Public Law 135, 79th Congress) and promulgated by Section V, War Department Bulletin 12, 1945. The medal was designed by Mr. Thomas H. Jones and approved by the Secretary of War on 5 February 1946. Consequently, it did not transition from a ribbon to a full medal until after World War II had ended.

The Congressional authorization for the medal specified that it was to be awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of the Government of the Philippine Islands, who served on active duty, or as a reservist, between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946.[2]

On 8 August 1946, the separate Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal was established for members of the United States Merchant Marine who served during World War II.[3]


The World War II Victory Medal was awarded for service between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946, both dates inclusive, with no minimum time in service requirement.[1] The National Personnel Records Center has reported some cases of service members receiving the award for only a few days of service. As hostilities during the Second World War ended on 2 September 1945, there may be cases of service members who had enlisted, entered officer candidate school, or had been a cadet or midshipman at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy or the U.S. Coast Guard Academy between 3 September 1945 and any date in 1946, receiving the medal without having been a veteran of World War II itself. The reason for this late date is that President Harry S. Truman did not declare an official end to hostilities until the last day of 1946.[2]

As every member of the United States Armed Forces who served from 7 December 1941 to 31 December 1946 was eligible for the medal, there were over 12 million eligible recipients, making the World War II Victory Medal the second most widely awarded military award of the United States, after the National Defense Service Medal.[4][5]


The bronze medal is 1 12 inches in width. The obverse is a figure of Liberation standing full length with head turned to dexter looking to the dawn of a new day, right foot resting on a war god’s helmet with the hilt of a broken sword in the right hand and the broken blade in the left hand, the inscription WORLD WAR II placed immediately below the center. On the reverse are inscriptions for the Four Freedoms: FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND WANT and FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGION separated by a palm branch, all within a circle composed of the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1941 1945.[2]

The suspension and service ribbon of the medal is 1 38 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 38 inch double rainbow in juxtaposition (blues, greens, yellows, reds (center), yellows greens and blues); 132 inch White 67101; center 916 inch Old Glory Red 67156; 132 inch White; and 38 inch double rainbow in juxtaposition. The rainbow on each side of the ribbon is a miniature of the pattern used in the World War I Victory Medal.[2]

Although the World War I Victory Medal included clasps, the World War II Victory Medal did not. This was because campaign medals were awarded instead.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards" (PDF). Headquarters Department of the Army. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "World War II Victory Medal". The Institute of Heraldry: Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the ARMY. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  3. ^ Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal
  4. ^ "World War II Veterans" (PDF).
  5. ^ "WWII Veteran Statistics". The National WWII Museum | New Orleans. Retrieved 21 February 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 June 2021, at 21:16
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