World War II

World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

May 8, 2020

Today marks the 75th anniversary of “V-E Day,” representing the allied victory in Europe during World War II. To commemorate the occasion, we wanted to talk about the history of the campaign medal awarded to service members in the European theater of World War II.


The European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9265 dated 6 November 1942, and subsequently amended by President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9706 dated 15 March 1946, to be awarded to members of the Armed Forces who served in one of those regions between 7 December 1941 and 8 November 1945. The European-African-Middle Eastern Theater included service in the countries of Europe, European Russia, Greenland, Iceland, the countries of Africa, and in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. The service criteria included that a service member had:

  • Served with a unit during a period in which it participated in combat, under orders to the combat zone and was awarded a combat award.
  • Served under orders to the combat zone and in receipt of a certificate stipulating combat participation from a corps command equivalent or higher.
  • Served under orders to the combat zone and served at a normal post of duty, aboard a ship in other than passenger status and certified by the home port commander as having served in the combat one, or as an evadee, escapee, or recovered prisoner of war in the combat zone. 
World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

The EAME ribbon design was approved by the Secretary of War in December 1942; wherein the brown was to represent the sands of Africa and the Middle East and the green was to represent the fields of Europe. The green, white, and red stripes on the left represented Italy. The center blue, white, and red stripes were taken from the American Defense Service Medal to represent the continued defense of the United States after Pearl Harbor. The white and black stripes on the right represented Germany.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower requested that the medal depict an invasion scene, and the design was submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts in September 1946. The obverse of the EAME medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones. It showed an LST landing craft and airplane in the background with troops landing under fire in the foreground and the words “European African Middle Eastern Campaign” across the top. The reverse of the medal was designed by A. A. Weinman and was the same design as used on the Asiatic-Pacific and American Campaign Medals which depicted a bald eagle in the center, the dates of American’s participation in the war, “1941-1945,” to the left of the eagle, and “United States of America” to the right. 

One bronze service star was affixed for participation in each official campaign. An arrowhead device was affixed for participation in a combat parachute jump, helicopter assault landing, combat glider landing, or amphibious assault landing. 

Campaigns of the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater

Egypt-Libya11 June 1942 – 12 February 1943
Air Offensive4 July 1942 – 5 June 1944
Algeria-French Morocco8 – 11 November 1942
Tunisia12 November 1942 – 13 May 1943
Sicily14 May 1943 – 17 August 1943
Naples-Foggia9 September 1943 – 21 January 1944
Anzio22 January 1944 – 24 May 1944
Rome-Arno22 January 1944 – 9 September 1944
Normandy6 June 1944 – 24 July 1944
Northern France25 July 1944 – 14 September 1944
Southern France15 August 1944 – 14 September 1944
Northern Apennines10 September 1944 – 4 April 1945
Rhineland15 September 1944 – 21 March 1945
Ardennes-Alsace16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945
Central Europe22 March 1945 – 11 May 1945
Po Valley5 April 1945 – 8 May 1945
Anti-submarine*7 December 1941 – 2 September 1945
Ground Combat*7 December 1941 – 2 September 1945
Air Combat*7 December 1941 – 2 September 1945
*These “campaigns” were designated to cover all combat operations that were not part of another official campaign listed above.

We have provided a downloadable resource PDF of the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal for personal use.


Sources

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