© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2009 - 2017
WORLD WAR II ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES
Following the sinking of several Brazilian merchant ships by German and Italian submarines, close to her coast, Brazil entered the war early in 1942. An expeditionary force (the F.E.B.) was sent to Europe and also an Air Force group, which escorted merchant ship convoys, was brought into war service. Furthermore, the Brazilian Navy was active in the North and South Atlantic and in the Mediterranean, transporting the F.E.B. to Italy.
The Naval Cross
Instituted by Decree of 13 December 1943 (Decree 6095). It was awarded to members of the Brazilian Navy for gallantry in action in the face of the enemy.
The Distinguished Services Medal
Also instituted on 13 December 1943.
The Naval War Services Medal
As with the previous two medals, this decoration was instituted on 13 December 1943. Up to three silver stars (authorised in December 1945) are worn on the ribbon to indicate periods of active service. The reverse of this medal has three warships under way, the obverse shows an anchor with the surrounding texts "Serviços de Guerra / Marinha do Brasil".
The Medal for the Naval Force of the South
Instituted on 2 June 1954 for members of the "Patrol Group of the South" (later called the Naval Force of the South), who patrolled the southern coast of Brazil between 1942 and 1945. Three classes exist : gold for commanding officers, silver for ships' captains and other officers and bronze for petty officers and seamen.
The Medal for the Naval Force of the North-East
Similarly to the previous medal, and instituted on the same day, this medal also had the three classes as described above. It was awarded to the members of the Patrol Group covering the north-east coast of Brazil.
The Combat Cross
The Brazilian government created this decoration, in two classes, for award to its military for personal bravery acts (1st class) or as a collective bravery awared (2nd class). The crosses were instituted on 17 August 1944 and on the reverse is the title and class of the decoration.
Thanks to João Luis V. Texeira for the information on these crosses.
The Army's War Medal
This silver-gilt and enamelled cross was instituted on 17 August 1944. The obverse shows the Southern Cross constellation surrounded by "Estados Unidos Do Brasil". The reverse is plain, with the inscription "Medalha de Guerra. 22-VIII-1942".
The Brasilian Expeditionary Force Medal
The arms of this bronze cross are inscribed "Brasil / 16 / VII / 1944" on the obverse. The reverse centre reads "Medalha de Campanha" around the name of the force. The lettered bar and the central medallion reflect again the force's name : Força Expedicionaria Brasileira.
The South Atlantic Campaign Medal
This bronze medal was instituted on 28 November 1948 and was awarded for distinguished services in the Brazilian Air Force in actions in the South Atlantic. The obverse has an airplane flying over a ship, with the legend, "Campanha no Atlantico Sul". The reverse inscription reads "F.A.B. / 1942-1945" (Força Aerea Brasileira).
The Blood of Brazil Medal
This oval bronze medal was instituted on 5 July 1945 for Brazilian troops and civilians who served in war operations and who were injured through actions against the enemy. The three stars on the obverse are symbolic of the three wounds received by Brigadier Sampaio at the battle of Tuiuti in 1866, against Paraguay. Across the obverse is a scroll inscribed "Sangue Do Brasil" (Blood of Brazil). The reverse shows the globe as it is also displayed on the Brazilian national flag.
The Italian Campaign Medal
The bronze Brazilian Air Force Campaign Medal for Italy was instituted by Decree 7454 of 10 April 1945 and was awarded to military personnel, both in active service or reserves, for service in Italy during the war. Its reverse reads "CAMPANHA NA ITALIA - FAB".
My thanks to the members of the Fórum de Ordens e Medalhas Militares Brasileiras for pictures and information !