Service: All Services
Instituted: 1949 Dates 1948-49
Criteria: 120 consecutive days of service participating in, or in support of the Berlin Airlift
Authorized for members of the U.S. Armed Forces on July 20, 1949 for at least 120 days of service while participating in or providing direct support for the Berlin Airlift during the period June 26, 1948 and September 30, 1949. The prescribed boundaries for qualifying service include the area between the north latitudes of the 54th and the 48th parallels and between the 14th east longitude and the 5th west longitude meridians. Posthumous award may be made to any person who lost his/her life while, or as a direct result of, participating in the Berlin Airlift, without regard to the length of such service.
The front of the medal depicts the C-54 aircraft, which was the primary aircraft used during the airlift, above the coat of arms of Berlin which lies in the center of a wreath of wheat. The reverse has the American eagle with shield and arrows and bears the inscriptions, “FOR HUMANE ACTION and TO SUPPLY NECESSITIES OF LIFE TO THE PEOPLE OF BERLIN GERMANY.”
On the ribbon, the black and white colors of Prussia refer to Berlin, capital of Prussia and Germany. Blue alludes to the sky and red represents the fortitude and zeal of the personnel who participated in the airlift.
No attachments are authorized. However, instances have been noted where the gold C-54 airplane device was incorrectly placed on this award rather than its proper usage, the Occupation Medal.