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Hello all, could anyone advise if a Flying Officer (doctor) with the Pacific Star would be entitled to the Burma clasp after being captured at Singapore and sent to the POW camps on the Burma railway?

Thanks.

According to Gordon (British battles and Medals), who is undoubtedly quoting the relevant War Office regs:

"R.A.F. One operational sortie qualified [between 11th December, 1941 and 2nd September, 1945, both dates inclusive]. Non-aircrew qualified under the same rules as the Army vis:

"Service in any part of Burma between [dates cited above] as did that in provinces of Bengal and Assam.... [various dates]. Service in China and Malaya between 16th February, 1942 and 2nd September, 1945, was also included."

Under "General Remarks Concerning the 1939-1945 Campaign Stars" Gordon adds the following:

"Time spent as a prisoner of war would count towards the 1939-45 star, but it would not qbe counted towards earning any of the other stars unless the full qualifying periods for the 1939-45 Star had been completed before capture. If however the candidate had completed his requisite period for the 1939-45 Star and was captured during the period he was qualifying for one of the other stars, then the period spent in captivity would count."

So, as I read the regs ...

He had to have finished his qualification for the 1939-45 Star:

R.A.F. - 1) Operations against the enemy, providing two months service had been completed in an operational unit. [or]

2) Non-aircrew personnel had to complete six months service in the area of an operational army command...

AND

He had to have at least begun the qualifications for the Burma Star (see above) and then been captured.

The key question then, was whether or not he'd done one sortie or been in the theatre between the relevant dates - almost certainly the latter, so almost certainly he was entitled to the Burma Star, IMHO

Edited by peter monahan
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Surrendered 15 February 1942. And -- at least for the Indian Army -- medal qualifications here were VERY complex. POW service didn't count, much, as Churchill saw this as a defeat, undeserving of any medals (even for what came down in France).

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Peter, Many thanks for the reply, Singapore fell in Feb. `42, the chap has the 39/45 Star, also an oakleaf on the War Medal, which made me wonder about the Burma clasp. Would service at an operational airfield in Britain from 1940 count towards the 39/45 Star? If so then looking at the earlier reply the Burma clasp would be due?

Edited by 7thOxandBucks
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Qualification for the Burma Star was OPERATIONAL service in the Burma Campaign

Army

Burma from 11.12.41

Bengal and Assam 1.5.42 to 31,12.43

Bengal or Assam (east of Brahmaputra) 1.11.43

Malaya 1.11.43

Sumatra 1.11.43

Air Foce

Air Crew Service in Operations against the enemy will qualify

Non Aircrwew entry into the prescribed area of land operations will qualify

Ralph

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