Service Medals of WWII
POW, WAC, Theater, and WW2 Victory Medals
By Stephen Sherman, Nov. 2008. Updated July 12, 2011.
The following were awarded for service in WW2:
Prisoner of War Medal"Authorized for all US Military Personnel who were Taken Prisoner of War ... during an Armed Conflict, and who Served Honorably during the Period of Captivity." Established 1985.
Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) estimates that 157,700 U.S. servicemen were captured in WW2: Germany, 130,200; Japan, 27,500; all eligible for the POW medal. The U.S. Army Air Forces, in the air war against Germany suffered 51,106 POWs, MIA's, evaders, and internees.
All requests for the POW Medal will be initiated by eligible former POWs, or their next of kin, using a personal letter or DD form 2510 (prisoner of War Medal Application/Information). Applications should be forwarded to the Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, M0 63132-5200.
Women's Army Corps Service MedalFor service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, later "Women's Army Corps." in World War Two. Established 1943.
Description: A bronze medal, 1 ¼ inches in diameter, with the head of Pallas Athene in profile facing right, superimposed on a sheathed sword cross with oak leaves and a palm branch within a circle composed of the words "WOMEN’S" in the upper half, and in the lower half "ARMY CORPS". On the reverse, within an arrangement of 13 stars, is a scroll bearing the words "FOR SERVICE IN THE WOMEN’S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS" in front of the letters "U S" in lower relief. At the top and perched on the scroll is an eagle with wings elevated and displayed and at the bottom, the date "1942-1943."
Ribbon: The ribbon is 1⅜ inches wide and consists of the following stripes: ⅛ inch Old Gold 67105; 1⅛ inch Mosstone Green 67127; and ⅛ inch Old Gold.
American Campaign MedalFor service in the US Armed Forces within the American Theater of Operations
Description: The Bronze medal is 1¼ inches in width. On the obverse is a Navy cruiser under full steam with a B-24 airplane flying overhead with a sinking enemy submarine in the foreground on three wave symbols, in the background a few buildings representing the arsenal of democracy, above the scene the words "AMERICAN CAMPAIGN." On the reverse an American bald eagle close between the dates "1941 - 1945" and the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
Ribbon: The ribbon is 1⅜ inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/16 inch oriental blue 67172; 1/16 inch white 67101; 1/16 inch black 67138; 1/16 inch scarlet 67111; 1/16 inch white; 3/16 inch oriental blue; center ⅛ triparted old glory blue 67178, white and scarlet; 3/16 inch oriental blue; 1/16 inch white; 1/16 inch scarlet; 1/16 inch black; 1/16 inch white; and 3/16 inch oriental blue.
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign MedalFor service in the US Armed Forces within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations
Description: The bronze medal is 1¼ inches in width. On the front is a tropical landing scene with a battleship, aircraft carrier, submarine and an aircraft in the background with landing troops and palm trees in the foreground with the words "ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN" above the scene. On the reverse, an American bald eagle close between the dates "1941 - 1945" and the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
Ribbon: The ribbon is 1⅜ inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/16 inch yellow 67108; 1/16 inch white 67101; 1/16 inch scarlet 67111; 1/16 inch white; ¼ inch yellow; center ⅛ triparted old glory blue 67178, white and scarlet; ¼ inch yellow; 1/16 inch white; 1/16 inch scarlet; 1/16 inch white; and 3/16 inch yellow.
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign MedalFor service in the US Armed Forces within the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
World War II Victory MedalFor service in the US Armed Forces between 07 Dec 1941 and 31 Dec 1946.
Description: The bronze medal is 1⅜ inches in width. On the front 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 the inscriptions "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 1914 1945."
Ribbon: The ribbon is 1⅜ inches wide and consists of the following stripes: ⅜ inch double rainbow in juxtaposition (blues, greens, yellows, reds (center), yellows greens and blues); 1/32 inch White 67101; center 9/16 inch Old Glory Red 67156; 1/32 inch White; and ⅜ inch double rainbow in juxtaposition. The rainbow on each side of the ribbon is a miniature of the pattern used in the WWI Victory Medal.