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But if he died in the crash in 1944?

/Mike

Thank you Mr. Chairman and Mike for your message. I got this photograph from John's brother. He told me this pic was taken shortly before he crashed, let's say April or May 1944. He has no idea what medalribbon this may be. John Devlin's RAF carreer started in 1939. He trained for Air Gunner, Bomb Aimer and finally flight engineer. Hope this might help?

Again, thank you for any help,

Jef

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Thank you Ed, thank you John, for your message.

Never heard or that "1939/43 Star" before. Do you have a pic, please?

In any case, this is breaking news !!! and I am truly greatfull.

With the help of the crew relatives, we ( the commitee: Dirk, Johan, Flip and myself) are trying to write the story of Lancaster JB 455 again. And with your help we will have succes, thanks again.

yours,

jef

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Thank you Ed, thank you John, for your message.

Never heard or that "1939/43 Star" before. Do you have a pic, please?

In any case, this is breaking news !!! and I am truly greatfull.

With the help of the crew relatives, we ( the commitee: Dirk, Johan, Flip and myself) are trying to write the story of Lancaster JB 455 again. And with your help we will have succes, thanks again.

yours,

jef

Best of luck in your project.

The 1939/43 Star was announced at the same time as the Africa Star and as the war prgressed beyond it's terminal date was renamed 1939/45 Star .As the medal was never issued just the ribbon no changes were made to the actual design.

John

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Best of luck in your project.

The 1939/43 Star was announced at the same time as the Africa Star and as the war prgressed beyond it's terminal date was renamed 1939/45 Star .As the medal was never issued just the ribbon no changes were made to the actual design.

John

John has pretty much summed it up. Designs -- never manufactured beyond the prototype stage -- looked just like the 1939-45 Star but had "1939-43" as the legend. Only those two stars were announced before the very end of the war and only those two would have been worn (as ribbons only) during the war years.

The evolution of the British WWII stars and medals is a fascinating tale and one I plan to write up for the JOMSA or OMRS journal when I can find the time.

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Dear Ed & John,

Again, thank you for your help.

Before I posted this question, I had been looking in my books to ID the ribbon. .. with no succes. I also have a War issue of "ABC of the RAF" ( new edition 1943). It's a quite detailed book full of interesting info but there is no mention about the 1939/43 star in the pages about decorations awarded to RAF personel.

I'm in debt to you both.

kind regards,

Jef

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After my initial posting I decided to try and resolve this issue as I did suspect that the ribbon may have been issued in lieu of the award, some time prior to 45 as the Africa Star was the first specific campaign medal which was awarded along side the 39-54 Star. But I could find no date for it and therefore could not support any such theory. John & Ed has answered the query with the key date of 1943. :beer:

So I wasn't so wrong after all. Here is an excerpt from Churchill in PMs question time in Sept 43 the key sentence in bold.

"Service in Cyprus will not qualify for the Africa Star. Malta alone of the Mediterranean islands is included in the award of this Star, by reason of its heavy action and long ordeal in combination with the operations in Africa. In the Navy the 1939-43 Star takes priority of award over the Africa Star, and no one eligible for the former will receive the latter. The reason for this is that, from the naval point of view, service in the African campaigns cannot be accepted as ranking before world-wide services performed by the Navy in other areas of operations....

"When the Africa and 1939-43 Stars are manufactured after the war, they will be given as mementos to the next-of-kin of those who have suffered death as a result of service in a theater of operations during the periods laid down. We are going to get on with the giving-out of the medals. We are not going to delay the issue of the ribbons, but the question is whether some others should come in. There are officers and men, some of whom have been fighting for three years continuously, and who, perhaps, have only a decoration for personal gallantry on their breasts. They will value it very much. We must be careful not to destroy the value of the award by making it practically universal. On the other hand, it may well be that some expansion may be permitted from the present conception. Everyone will recognise the difficulty of the problem, and how easily opinions may differ upon it. I certainly hope the House will be able to find time to discuss this, because we obviously want to make these awards correspond with the general wish and feeling of the country and of the House, which represents the country, and also to make them in a form which will be acceptable to the far more critical opinion of the Fighting Services."

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Thank you Mr. Chairman for your message.

To illustrate your sentence:"....They will be given as mementos to the next of kin...." I can add a pic. While researching the carreer of W/O John Devlin's crewmate, F/Sgt Cecil Nicolson, the bomb aimer of Lancaster JB 455 (crashed 16 June1944) we understand that his family never received his medals. So, last year, the relatives wrote to the Medal Department. After inquiring Medal Dept. decided to issue the 39/45 Star, France&Germany Star, Air Crew Europe Star and the 39/45 War Medal. Finaly, after 61 years the family Nicolson received Cecil's medals. This happened last Christmas. A present to be proud of!

Kind regards,

jef

[attachmentid=45196]

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Thank you Mr. Chairman for your message.

To illustrate your sentence:"....They will be given as mementos to the next of kin...." I can add a pic. While researching the carreer of W/O John Devlin's crewmate, F/Sgt Cecil Nicolson, the bomb aimer of Lancaster JB 455 (crashed 16 June1944) we understand that his family never received his medals. So, last year, the relatives wrote to the Medal Department. After inquiring Medal Dept. decided to issue the 39/45 Star, France&Germany Star, Air Crew Europe Star and the 39/45 War Medal. Finaly, after 61 years the family Nicolson received Cecil's medals. This happened last Christmas. A present to be proud of!

Kind regards,

jef

[attachmentid=45196]

An error has occurred with this issue as the Air Crew Europe Star cannot be worn with the France and Germany Star a clasp should have been issued to be attached to the Air Crew Europe Star ribbon.

I 'm a little surprised at these medals(were they purchased off the open market?)as the ACE is a typical late issue the others are first issue.

John

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An error has occurred with this issue as the Air Crew Europe Star cannot be worn with the France and Germany Star a clasp should have been issued to be attached to the Air Crew Europe Star ribbon.

I 'm a little surprised at these medals(were they purchased off the open market?)as the ACE is a typical late issue the others are first issue.

John

Hello John,

I'm afraid, I don't know what you mean by " were they purchased off the open market?" The medals were sent last year by the Medal Department to the family Nicolson. And I can't believe those people would give me wrong info.

regards,

jef

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Jef,in the box containing the medals sent to his next of kin there should have been a condolence slip with his name date of death and details of medals issued.Both the box and slip should be kept as provenance as to what they are and to whom they were awarded.

John

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Jef,in the box containing the medals sent to his next of kin there should have been a condolence slip with his name date of death and details of medals issued.Both the box and slip should be kept as provenance as to what they are and to whom they were awarded.

John

Thank you John, I will ask the family.

Jef

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  • 3 months later...

Still issuing condolence slips 60 yrs on?! That does suprise me, any one seen one. Am interested to know.

Incidentally the ribbon of the 1939/43 star was illustraited in a pamphlet I picked up printed in 1944 by "Taffrail" which illustrated ribbons in wear up until that time. The final one listed was the Africa Star.

Regards

Matt Gibbs

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Still issuing condolence slips 60 yrs on?! That does suprise me, any one seen one. Am interested to know.

Incidentally the ribbon of the 1939/43 star was illustraited in a pamphlet I picked up printed in 1944 by "Taffrail" which illustrated ribbons in wear up until that time. The final one listed was the Africa Star.

Regards

Matt Gibbs

Hello John & Mat,

This evening I got a mail of the family with a message there was no condolence letter with the medals. I'm afraid i got no answer on my question: what kind of documents were sent with the medals, sorry.

Jef

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Jef,not to be a downer on these medals but on trying to study the ACE Star I have some doubts the wording AIR CREW EUROPE STAR seems to be rotated anti clockwise but the picture is not to clear.

The ACE Star is the most copied WW2 medal if you go to the following and work through it with medal in hand you will be able to determine fake or not.

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/hartley/acediscussion

John

Edited by jagwca
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Thank you John and Michael for your reaction. Think i will make another attempt to have a copie of the letter which was sent togheter with the medals ( keep your fingers crossed).

I also enclose another photograph of the medals. It's a photo of Cecil's brother and sister holding the medals. With respect for their privacy, i only show the medals.

With kind regards,

Jef

[attachmentid=59050]

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The letter has it correctly: Air Crew Europe Star and France and Germany clasp.

However, the medal issue slip makes it clear that the order picker misread his/her instructions and grabbed a France and Germany Star instead. Fortunately this is recorded on the slip.

So it's perfectly pukka, if not regulation. And since they're not going to be worn on parade, who cares about the regulations?

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