Warrant Officer J.J. Curr 404407, RAAF ( attached RAF), 99 & 159 Squadron, Air Gunner - WIA
Flying Officer D.P. Winter 414617 DFC, RAAF, 466 Squadron, Command Pilot - DFC
Warrant Officer F. Langford 542992, SAAF, 31 Squadron, Air Gunner (Warsaw Concerto)
Lieutenant G.J. Locke 43867, 5 RAR, Support Company, Platoon Commander - WIA
Warrant Officer D. Poulton, 778652, RAF, 244 Squadron, Radar Operator/Pilot - KIA
Flight Sergeant B. Williams, 405355, RNZAF (attcahed RAF), NZ-405355 Squadron, Fighter Pilot - KIA
Warrant Officer J.T.F. Johnson, 424188, RAAF, 466 Squadron, Navigator/Bombardier
Sergeant Wincenty Antkowicz, Polish Contingent 8th British Army (Desert Rats)
Trooper F.A. Bone, 213, AIF, Ist Australian Light Horse - KIA at Gallipoli (coming soon - still researching)
Private G. Ballie, 3539, AIF, 14th Light Horse and Camel Corps - RTA (coming soon - still researching)
Napoleon stated that; "If he had enough ribbon he would conquer the world"
Medals and ribbon have little true value; their true value being that of the metal elements the decoration is comprised. However, their intrinsic value is in many cases beyond measurement due to the sacrifices made by service men and women to receive an award. This is especially evident to decorations and awards awards issued for gallantry and valour.
Decorations and awards can be issued for a number of reasons, and different nations may issue more awards than others for similar events. Likewise, the nature, or severity of the event or action to receive an award may differ between nations. Whilst it is true that many decorations only denote service in a particular theatre of operations or are struck to mark a victory in a campaign, it is the activities carried out by the recipient of the decoration that are important. Decorations for bravery, gallantry or valour are usually issued for one act of heroism or courage, although in some countries an identical award to that for valour can be issued for outstanding service. This is why a copy of the individual's service record is vital.
Lineage of Decorations
The lineage of decorations can be traced back to Rome and Greece when medals were represented by coins. It was not until the Renaissance Period, when decorations were crafted by artists, that medals began to be developed in their current form. In the 15th century medals were issued for military valour, however campaign and other service decorations were not in widespread use until the 18th century. Russia was one of the first countries to issue contemporary style decorations and medals. Russia issued all military participants special campaign tokens of honour – gold medals. The higher the status of the recipient the heavier and larger the token. For example, a general maybe given a large gold medal on a gold neck chain as opposed to an infantryman who would be given a token of gilded silver. Ribbons began to be worn in addition to, or as a replacement for medals during this time. Ornaments taking the shape of oak leaves and stars were used to signify additional issues of an award, or to designate various levels of achievement.
My interest centres around decorations and awards from World War One through to Vietnam from Australia (RAAF & Army), Britain (RAF), America (USAAF - WW2). South Africa (RSAAF, WW2) and Germany (WW1 & WW2; Army & Luftwaffe).
Researching, scanning and uploading decorations is very time consuming. As I research my collection I will add those more interesting awards to the gallery.
Several people have asked what KIA, WIA, RTA and RTSA mean.
- KIA is an acumen for Killed in Action.
- RTA is an acumen for Returned to Australia.
- WIA is an acumen Wounded in Action.
- RTSA is an acumen for Returned to South Africa.