World War II Victory Medal
Services: All Services
Qualifying Dates: 7 December 1941 to 31 December 1946
Criteria: Awarded for service in US Armed Forces between 1941 and 1946. If a veteran served at least 1 day prior to 31 December 1946, he/she is eligible for this award.
Authorized by Act of Congress on July 6, 1945 and awarded to all members of the Armed Forces who served at least one day of honorable, active federal service between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946, inclusive.
The front of the medal depicts the Liberty figure resting her right foot on a war god's helmet with the hilt of a broken sword in her right hand and the broken blade in her left hand. The reverse contains the words, "FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND WANT, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGION, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1941-1945." The red center stripe of the ribbon is symbolic of Mars, the God of War, representing both courage and fortitude. The twin rainbow stripes, suggested by the World War I Victory Medal, allude to the peach following a storm. A narrow white stripe separates the center red stripe from each rainbow pattern on both sides of the ribbon. The World War II Victory Medal provides deserving recognition to all of America's veterans who served during Wold War II.
No attachments were authorized although some veterans received the medal with an affixed bronze star which, according to rumors at the time, was to distinguish those who served in combat from those who did not. However, no official documentation has ever been found to support this supposition. Although eligible for its award, many World War II veterans never actually received the medal since many were discharged prior to the medal's institution.