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Help on decorations

Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by BMBazooka, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. BMBazooka

    BMBazooka Well-Known Member

    Two of "my" enlisted guys got decorations I would like to ask for help or comments (remember - the personal files are burned, IDPFs not available).
    The two gunners, 15th AF, got the Air medal with a added decoration (does this look like one oak leaf cluster?) and a "Distinguisghed Flying Cross".
    Is there a certain category as to when these both privates/Staff Sergeants might have gotten the medals?
    This is the air medal:


    Thank you!
  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    The photos you posted show Air Medals with 3 individual (bronze) Oak Leaf Clusters. There does not seem to have been a "standard" way to display the added Oak Leaf Clusters. Sometimes they are put in a row, sometimes all grouped together, etc. The Oak Leaf Clusters all appear to be bronze (i.e. individuals).

    There is also exists a Silver Cluster,(not seen in your photos), that stands for 5 bronze singles.

    Examples of OLCs.

    "Typically" the air medal was awarded for the completion of 5 missions, with an OLC for each additional 5. (Heavy Bomb Groups). Air medals were also sometimes given to gunners for a mission in which they shot down enemy aircraft.

    The awarding of medals is a topic we have discussed before and in many ways is a "can of worms" as there were no "standard" common rules across all BGs and Air Forces. The "Rules" also changed throughout the war.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  3. BMBazooka

    BMBazooka Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    So can I talk of these decorations that there bearers got them after 20 missions?
    What could have happened that a mere pfc gunner or staff sergeant got a Distinguished Flying Cross?
    I am not aware that some other person of this crew got one.
  4. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member


    Here is a link we have posted before. It gets into some of the confusion.

    http://www.afhra.af.mil/Portals/16/documents/Timelines/World War II/WWIIDFCandAirMedalCriteriaChronological.pdf?ver=2016-09-16-111147-907

    (If you can't get through the whole report take a look at the summary starting on page 63.)

    One way your gunners could have gotten the Air Medal and 3 OLCs would be for completing 20 missions.
    But since they were gunners, they may have gotten one of more of them for shooting down enemy planes.

    Does the MACR say how many missions that they had flown? If between 20 and 25 then all the OLCs may have been mission OLCs. The DFC may have been awarded for some specific reason, or additionally for shooting down planes, see examples in the link I posted.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    AACS45 likes this.
  5. BMBazooka

    BMBazooka Well-Known Member

    The MACR does not say how many missions. I know that both were on their last ones since they came over to Spinazzola with the first squadrons. Last missions when shot down.
    I even didn't know that one of the gunners got the DFC. As far as I remember it was in one of the newspaper articles about Twinings letter to the parents of the then MIA gunner.
    Thank you very much for the link.

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