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The Burma Star
Obverse of medal
Awarded by United Kingdom and Commonwealth
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility One day operational service, or one sortie for aircrew (six months for Naval personnel)
Awarded for Service
Campaign Pacific 1941-45
Description Six pointed star
  • Pacific
Related Burma Star
Burma Star.gif
Ribbon bar of the medal

The Burma Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.

The medal was awarded for service in the Burma Campaign between 11 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. This medal was also awarded for certain specified service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra:

  • Hong Kong - between 26 December 1941 and 2 September 1945
  • China and Malaya - between 16 February 1942 and 2 September 1945
  • Sumatra - between 24 March 1942 and 2 September 1945

Second World War service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra after 8 December 1941 but prior to the above start dates was recognised by the award of the Pacific Star.

British uniform regulations stipulated that the Pacific Star would not be awarded to a prior recipient of the Burma Star. Subsequent entitlement to the Pacific Star was denoted by the award of the Pacific clasp.

Entitlement to wear the Burma Star or the Burma Star clasp on the Pacific Star also enables the wearer to join the Burma Star Association.

Eligibility requirements

  • Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel qualified through service in an area restricted to the Bay of Bengal, and enclosed by a line running from the southernmost point of Ceylon for a distance of 300 miles south, then to a point 300 miles west of the southernmost point of Sumatra, and continuing east to the western side of the Sunda Strait, including the Strait of Malacca. The 6 months service for the 1939-1945 Star had to be earned, before service could count towards the Burma Star.
  • Army personnel qualified through service in any part of Burma. Service in the Indian provinces of Bengal and Assam in the period 1 May 1942 to 2 September 1945 also qualified.
  • Air force aircrew had to make one operational sortie. Air Force ground crew had the same restrictions as the Army.


  • The Burma Star is a six–pointed star of yellow copper/zinc alloy, with a height of 44 mm and a maximum width of 38 mm.
  • The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Burma Star'.
  • The reverse is plain, although Stars issued to Australian and South African personnel have recipient names impressed.
  • The ribbon for this medal, along with those of the other Second World War campaign stars, is reputed to have been designed by King George VI. The broad dark blue stripes represent British forces, the red stripe Commonwealth forces, and the bright orange stripes represent the sun.


When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.

  • Pacific
Awarded to those who subsequently qualified for the Pacific Star.

See also


  • Mackay, J and Mussel, J (eds) - Medals Yearbook - 2006, (2005), Token Publishing.
  • Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin (eds), British Battles and Medals, (1988), Spink


External links

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