The 1939-1945 Star is the first in a series of eight campaign stars instituted in 1945 to recognise service in the Second World War. It was awarded for six months service in specified operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mention in despatches also qualified for the medal.
This bronze six-pointed star has a circular centre with the GRI/VI monogram, surmounted by the Royal crown, and inscribed ‘The 1939-1945 Star’. The star has a height of 44mm and maximum width of 38mm.
The 1939-1945 Star was issued unengraved to New Zealand service persons, as were other Second World War campaign medals awarded for service for New Zealand. The same no engraving policy was applied by other British Commonwealth countries, except for Australia and South Africa.
The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe symbolises the service of the Navy and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe symbolises the service of the Army, and the light blue stripe symbolises the service of the Air Force.