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American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2002


Ribbons of Medals

United States Navy and Marine Corps

Second World War Period and Prior

Youthful but He has been Around
A Sailor and his Ribbon Bars

At the time of the Second World War campaign medals existed which had been awarded back to the Civil War. Although I cannot know what the earliest campaign medals that an active member of the armed services serving in the Second World War might have worn, I have decided to arbitrarily begin the series of campaign medals with the China Campaign Metal of 1900.

Naval ribbon bars come in two sizes three-eighths inch (9 mm) and one-half inch (12 mm). The larger size was in common use during the war. Smaller ribbons can be pre-war or post-war issues of World War Two medals. Examples below are in either size. The examples pictured are originals and may have minor damage or fading. The links within the section go the a discussion of the background of the corresponding medal.

Metals for Valor or Meritious Service

Medal of Honor MC Brevet Navy Cross D.S.M. Legion of Merit
Medal of Honor Marine Corps Brevet Navy Cross Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit
Silver Star D.F.C. Navy And MC Medal Bronze Star Air Medal
Silver Star Distinguished Flying Cross Navy And Marine Corps Medal Bronze Star Air Medal
Purple Heart Navy Commendation Navy Good Conduct Marine Good Conduct
Purple Heart Navy Commendation
V for valor
Navy Good Conduct Marine Good Conduct

Campaign Metals

China Campaign Cuban Pacification Nicaraguan Campaign Mexican Service
China Campaign 1900 Cuban Pacification 1906 Nicaraguan Campaign 1912 Mexican Service 1914
Haitian Campaign Dominican Campaign WW I Victory Army of Occupation 2nd Nicaraguan Campaign
Haitian Campaign 1915 Dominican Campaign 1916 World War Victory 1918
3/16 silver star (1)
Army of Occupation 1918 2nd Nicaraguan Campaign 1926
Yangtze Service China Service American Defense American Campaign
Yangtze Service 1926 China Service 1937 American Defense 1940
A for Atlantic
American Campaign 1941
Euro-Afro-ME Asiatic-Pacific WW II Victory
European-African-Mid East 1941 Asiatic-Pacific 1941 World War Two Victory 1945

Distinguished Unit Badges

Presidential Unit Citation Navy Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation 1942 Navy Unit Citation 1944
Star for 2nd award

Expeditionary Medals

Navy Expeditionary Medal Marine Expeditionary Medal
Navy Expeditionary Medal Marine Expeditionary Medal

Reserve Medals

Navy Reserve  Medal Organized M.C. Reserve  Medal
Navy Reserve Medal Marine Reserve Medal

Marksmanship Medals

Expert Pistol Shot Expert Rifleman Distinguished Marksman
Expert Pistol Shot Medal Expert Rifleman Medal Distinguished Marksman Ribbon


  1. Holder of Citation for Gallantry in Action

MORE: Army Ribbon Bars
More: Detailed Site on Ribbons (all periods)
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