World War II Victory Medal (United States)

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World War II Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Awarded by Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Type Military service medal
Eligibility Served in the armed forces between the dates of December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.
Status Inactive
First awarded December 7, 1941
Last awarded December 31, 1946
Next (higher) European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Equivalent Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal
Next (lower) Army of Occupation Medal or
Navy Occupation Service Medal
Ribbon for World War II Victory Medal

Streamer for World War II Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon (top) and streamer (bottom)

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 II Victory Medal was first issued as a service ribbon referred to as the “Victory Ribbon.” By 1946, a full medal had been established which was referred to as the World War II Victory Medal. The medal was 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 December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.[2]

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

On August 8, 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 medal is awarded for service between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946, both dates inclusive.[1] The National Personnel Records Center has reported some cases of service members receiving the award for simply a few days of service. As the Second World War ended on September 2, 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 in 1946, receiving the medal without having been a veteran of World War II. The reason for this late date is that President Harry S. Truman did not declare an official end of hostilities until the last day of 1946.[2]


Obverse Reverse

The bronze medal is 1 3/8 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 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/8 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 3/8 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.[2]


Unlike the World War I medal, clasps were not issued for the World War II Victory Medal. This was because campaign medals were frequently awarded instead.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards" (PDF). Headquarters Department of the Army. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2014-01-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "World War II Victory Medal". The Institute of Heraldry: Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the ARMY. Retrieved 2014-01-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal

External links