Insignia distinguished the rank and role of servicemen and women.  Their achievements and service earned them medals--these are often treasured keepsakes representing time in service to the United States.  Below can be found a variety of cloth and metal insignia, as well as medals and other service awards typically awarded during this time period.  

The Distinguished Service Cross, awarded for bravery to soldiers and airmen of the US military.  This is the second-highest award in the military, behind the Medal of Honor.  Just over 5,000 DCS's were awarded in World War II.  This is an unissued example, made by Robbins Co.

The Purple Heart Medal, awarded to those killed or wounded in combat.

The Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest awards for aviators in WWII.

The Soldier's Medal, awarded for heroism in non-combat situations.

Service medals of World War II.  Top:  Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal, and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.  Bottom row:  American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal, and WWII Victory Medal.

Women's Army Corps Service Medal, awarded from 1943 onwards to women who served.

Collar disc for the Women's Army Corps.  The image depicts Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war.

Very rare rosette pin signifying service in OSS--the clandestine Office of Strategic Services.  These were produced just after WWII for veterans to purchase.

Combat Medic Badge

Various chevrons for enlisted men.

The Legion of Merit medal, awarded for actions of exceptional merit.  This medal ranks below the Distinguished Service Cross but above the Distinguished Flying Cross.  This award was more commonly earned by senior-level officers than enlisted men.


The Bronze Star Medal, awarded for valor and combat service.

The Air Medal, awarded to aviators for distinguished conduct.

The Silver Star Medal, awarded for gallantry in action.  This is the third-highest Armycombat award, after the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Medal citations were printed statements describing what a soldier had done to earn a medal.  These citations are from a veteran who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and several Air Medals over Europe with the 8th Air Force.

China Service Medal with box

Selection of officer's insignia, on original manufacturer's cards.

Medal bar to a pilot who was wounded in WWII.  His medals show that he served after the war and participated in the Berlin Airlift.

Campaign ribbon bars, awarded to a veteran who served in the Pacific.  The stars indicate campaigns (battles) and the arrowhead is for an amphibious assault.

Marksmanship qualification badges:  marksman, expert, and sharpshooter

Combat Infantry Badges awarded to those who saw combat service.

The Distinguished Unit Citation was awarded to units that distinguished themselves in the course of their duties.

 

 

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