WWII Ribbons

I have a general question about WWII ribbons. I believe that they are supposed to be displayed above the left chest pocket, in order of prestige, left to right. My question is this: If a soldier was awarded more than one medal, ex: 2 purple hearts, would that soldier wear two purple ribbons to signify the two purple hearts or would the soldier just wear one ribbon representing both awards? Also could a soldier earn more than one of the same campaign medal, ex 2 European/African/Middle eastern Campaign Medals?




No, to both questions. In recieving a second or third wound a star is added both to the

ribbon and medal for each time wounded. On the theatre medal/ ribbon, a star is added

for each different campaign on both the ribbon and medal. Campaigns have set dates

for being authorized in order to be awarded. Same as the area boundries of each campaign. One had to be in that area sometime in that time period. (Believe it was

for at least 24 hours but not sure). This holds true for other awards such as Bronze Star

Medal, Silver Star Medal ETC.


Thanks for the response, The reason I ask is because I've been trying to determine which ribbons my Grandfather is wearing from a picture taken in 1943. If someone would not mind taking a look, I have attached a file with this picture. I know one is the European, African Middle Eastern Theater ribbon and one ribbon looks like an American Defense Ribbon, but as I understand it, this ribbon was only awarded up until 1941. My Grandfather enlisted in 1942. I just don't know what's what :banghead:

Thanks Again



Attached Files
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From what I can ascertain from the black and white photo, he would be wearing from left to right:


American Campaign Ribbon

American Defense Ribbon

European/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon


Here are some good links to help you distinguish medals and patches from WWII, etc.











Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

As I am no really up on awards in ww 2 I am just wondering about what I just read on

another forum where someone listed his medals and included TWO Good Conduct Medals awarded to him. This is news to me. I dont recall ever hearing or seeing of such a thing. He said he served from mid '43 to dec. "45. Possibly I just dont ever recall anyone with two of them. Would it use a star, bar or what to designate a second

award or what.. This is entirely new to me and never heard of a second award of a

good conduct medal. Please enlighten me. Or maybe I just forgot.


Well according the army, you can get more than one, but then a clasp is awarded and attached to the first. Here's the scoop.


Good Conduct Medal

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Many thanks Marion. From that site it dont look possible for him, having less than 3 years of service to get a second award.


I didn't know you could be awarded two Good Conduct Medals. I have seen documentation where the GCM was revoked. So, I guess he could earn it back after the appropriate time period (not sure if it was 9 mo or 1 year).


I agree; the medals seen in his photo all seem to be the 3 campaign medals that Marion listed. The GCM is easy to spot as it is small, alternating stripes.


For most medals, the second award was denoted by an Oak Leaf. The general orders would say that it was for the awarding of a 2nd Oak Leaf for the Bronze Star or such.

Battle stars were added to campaign medals. Other devices were "V" and silver battle stars, but I don't quite understand why and when they were awarded. For some samples, see this link to Audi Murphy's Medals: Audie Murphy.






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