Service Medals and Ribbons 
Awarded To
USS Leonard F. Mason DD- 852



 Combat Action 
Navy Unit
Commendation Ribbon
Navy Meritorious
.Unit Citation Ribbon.
China Service 
World War II
Victory Medal
Navy Occupation
Medal Korea
National Defense 
Service Medal
Korea Service 
Armed Forces
..Expeditionary Medal..
Vietnam Service
....Presidential Unit....
Citation Korea
Presidential Unit
Citation Vietnam
Korean War
Service Medal
United Nations
Service Medal
....Campaign Medal....
These are the medals and ribbons earned by the ship.
Some of the awards are retroactive and some the effective
dates have been changed.  They may or may not appear
on your DD-214. Each individual will have to read the 
medal requirements to see if they qualify for the award.

This set of ribbons was reconstructed with the help of the following shipmates.
This webpage and the ship's photo printout webpages would not have been 
possible with out their help. I thank you very much for taking the time to help 
me. If anyone finds any errors in the ribbons please contact the webmaster.

Below are some of their comments.

I think you have done a good job with your sites. I have enjoyed them and use them fairly often. Just spent almost an hour at the ribbion site. I think it is an 
excellent package and contained considerably more detail than I expected. I do
not think there will be many questions. If someone starts beating their gums 
about this or that ribbon, invite them to submit their source and if a correction
is needed, I'm sure you will handle that properly. Your source was the horse's 
mouth.  Again, good work. Thanks and BRAVO ZULU.
CDR John Deaton, USN (Ret)

I looked over the new pages and everything seems fine to me! With the addition
of the Korean War Service Medal, everything I see on the ribbons painted on the
ship in 1974 matches to some degree with a ribbon/medal listed on your Web 
site. That is an awesome page! I'm sure you will hear more about the subject 
in the future. There's always someone who will dispute a medal or two...
I was a member of the Mason's crew from 1971 to 1974. Please visit his website about the Leonard F. Mason.
David Faige

I read thru it & as far as I'm concerned, everything looks ok.
It really is a nice page, thanks for doing it.
CWO Don Gillmore USN (Ret)

Roger Muller

Michael Pfafflin
A thank you 
to the brave sailors of the 
USS Leonard F. Mason DD-852
for the service 
to their country

who served in 
Korea or

 who served in 


Korean Service 1950-1954
Total Authorized for Action
2 Silver Stars

Korean  Service
Total Ship's Awards Authorized for Action
Combat Action Ribbon
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Navy Occupation (Korea clasp)
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal (1 silver and 1 bronze stars)
Korea Service United Nations
Korean Presidential Unit Citation with a star
Korean War Service Medal


Vietnam Service 1962-1973
Total Authorized for Action
3 Silver and 2 Bronze Stars

Vietnam Service
Total Ship's Awards Authorized for Action

Combat Action Ribbon 
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
National Defense Servce Medal 
Vietnam Service Medal (3 stars)
Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Campaign Medal Vietnam (2 stars)


Combat Action Ribbon (1 Star)
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
China Service Medal
Navy Occupation Medal (Korea)
National Defense Medal (1 star)
Korea Service Medal (6 stars)
Vietnam Service Medal (5 stars)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Presidential Unit Citation Korea (1 star)
Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam
Korean War Service Medal
Korea Service United Nations
Vietnam Campaign Medal 

Medals and Ribbons Information
From the Naval Historical Center

Combat Action Ribbon

Attention NAVY and MARINE CORPS Veterans: 
On 5 Oct 1999, the Secretary of the Navy authorized the Combat Action
Ribbon retroactively to Navy and Marine Corps members who
participated in combat from 7 Dec 1941 to present. 
This award had previously been retroactive only to 1 Mar 1961. 
E-mail now to obtain your ribbon - USAIHP
On the subject line type: Combat Action Ribbon


Navy and Marine Corps veterans who served in combat in or after World War II are now eligible to receive the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR).  Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig has recently authorized this award for those who served in combat, but never received their CAR. "At a time when we are focusing on the contributions of these great Americans, this seems especially fitting," said Danzig.  In order to be eligible for the CAR, veterans must have participated in ground or surface combat after Dec. 6, 1941, but before March 1, 1961, and cannot already have been recognized for the same participation.  Under Public Law 106-65, Danzig can award the CAR to veterans retroactively.  The time period required for submission is being waived in all cases.  Two blocks
of time have been designated by Danzig for eligibility of the CAR;

World War II: Dec. 7, 1941 - April 14, 1946,

Korea: June 27, 1950 - July 27, 1954.

Navy Veterans who served during these periods may write directly to the Navy Awards Branch for
settlement at:
        Chief of Naval Operations (N09B33)
        2000 Navy Pentagon
        Washington, D.C. 20350-2000
The following information must be provided: Standard Form 180 or cover letter with the following information: full name, social security number, service number (if applicable), period of eligibility, unit assigned at the time, and mailing address.  Copy of Naval Personnel Form 553 or Defense Department (DD) Form 214;  DD-215 (if applicable). Additional substantiating documentation (optional): copies of combat awards; copies of evaluations; muster sheets or orders showing assignment to the unit for the period requested. A special section will handle these requests, but no other awards may be requested in conjunction with the CAR.  Only CAR requests dated after March 15, 2000, and in accordance with the prescribed guidance will be forwarded to the board for decision.  Any prior  requests must be resubmitted. If a veteran cannot provide the required documentation, a request for personal record information must be submitted to the St. Louis Records Center before submitting the request to the Navy Awards  Board. If a veteran desires to address a different period of time, a request to review the period may be sent, with substantiating documentation, to the Navy Board of Decorations and Medals at the above address.


Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon


Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon


(EXTENDED) 1945-1957)

1. The commemorative purposes for which the China Service Medal was established and authorized by General Order No. 176, dated 1 July 1942, are extended to include the services performed by personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard during the operations in China subsequent to 2 September 1945, and until a terminal date to be designated. It is further provided that the Secretary of the Navy may tender this medal to personnel of the Army or other components of the Armed Forces of the United States for service which he may determine to be commensurate to and consistent with the services for which the award is made to personnel in the naval service, and this provision for tender shall apply for all periods of time for which award of this medal is authorized.

2. The medal will be awarded to individual who shall have been attached to, present, and serving on permanent duty with an organization of the naval service of the United States credited by the Secretary of the Navy with having participated in operations in China. Service in a passenger status, or as an observer, visitor, courier, escort, inspector or other similar status when not permanently attached to an eligible unit, is not creditable toward eligibility for the above medal. Services performed in the Asiatic-Pacific area between 3 September 1945 and 2 March 1946, inclusive, shall not be credited toward individual eligibility for the China Service Medal unless the individual is already eligible for the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal for services performed prior to 2 September 1945.

3. Organizations will, consistent with the above dates, be credited with qualifying service for services performed on shore in China and such adjacent islands and territories as are recognized to be Chinese, or in ships operating in such territorial waters or contiguous ocean areas, or in aircraft based upon and operating from such territories or ships.

4. The China Service Medal shall not be awarded for any service for which another service medal is authorized except as provided in paragraph 2 above and not more than one medal shall be awarded to any individual. No clasps, distinguishing devices, or other insignia are authorized to be worn on the corresponding service ribbon except that individuals to whom the medal has been or may be awarded for service performed under General Order No. 176, of 1 July 1942, shall upon becoming eligible for this award for service performed subsequent to 2 September 1945, wear a bronze star signifying the second award on the ribbon of the medal and on the service ribbon.

5. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as altering or otherwise affecting the condition for which the China Service Medal was awarded by General Order No. 176, of 1 July 1942, except as providing for tender to other services as provided in Paragraph 1 above (ALNAV 25 of 22 Jan. 1947; Navy Department General Order No. 255 of 28 Jan. 1948.)

Source: 1953 U.S. Navy Awards Manual


World War II Victory Medal

 The World War II Victory Medal may be awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the Government of the Philippine Islands who served on active duty in World War II at any time between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946, both dates inclusive. (Established by Public Law No. 135 of 6 July 1945.)

Source: U.S. Navy Awards Manual, 1953


Navy Occupation Service Medal

To commemorate the services performed by the personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard in the occupation of the territories of the enemies of the United States during World War II, and subsequent to the
surrender of those enemies, the Navy Occupation Service Medal was established and will be awarded to individuals of the above-named services who participated in such occupation according to the requirements of
eligibility hereinafter set forth. It is further provided that the Secretary of the Navy may tender this medal to personnel of the Army or other components of the Armed Forces of the United States for services which he may
determine to be commensurate and consistent with the service for which the award is made to personnel in the naval service.

The Navy Occupation Service Medal shall not be awarded for any service for which another medal is authorized. Not more than one Navy Occupation Service Medal will be awarded to any individual regardless of whether service has been performed in different areas or places at different interval of time. Appropriate clasps marked "Europe" and "Asia" are authorized to be attached to the ribbon of the medal to denote service in Europe and Asia, respectively. No distinctive device to denote possession of the above clasps is authorized for wearing on the service ribbon.

Established by the War Department in 1946 and awarded to members of the US Army and Air Force for thirty days or more consecutive service in the Occupation Forces. 

Occupation Zone limits: 

     Austria -- 09 May 1945-02 Jul 1955 
     Berlin -- 09 May 1945-02 Oct 1990 
     Germany -- 09 May 1945-02 Jul 1955 
     Italy -- 09 May 1945-15 Sep 1947 
     Japan -- 03 Sep 1945-27 Apr 1952 
     Korea -- 03 Sep 1945-29 Jun 1949

Source: 1953 U.S. Navy Awards Manual


National Defense Service Medal

The National Defense Service Medal will be awarded to all persons in the Naval service who served on active duty at any time between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954. [Also see below]

All personnel serving on active duty during the above period are eligible for this award with the exception of reserve personnel on active duty for training, reserve personnel on short tours of active duty to serve on boards, courts, commissions, etc., and any persons ordered to active duty who, on physical examination incident thereto, are disqualified and immediately released from active duty. (Executive Order No. 10448 of 22 April 1953 and Department of Defense Directive 1348.7 of 15 July 1953.)

Following the precedent of the pre-World War II American Defense Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal has been worn by three "generations" of sailors and Marines for three distinct periods of our military history.

Designed by the Army's Institute of Heraldry in Cameron Station, Va., the first medals were issued during the Korean War era and note active federal service performed as part of normal extended duty between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954, both dates inclusive.

The next period of eligibility coincided with that of the Vietnam War, with duty between 01 Jan. 1961 and 14 Aug. 1974 being the criteria for the award, both dates inclusive. This amended period of eligibility was established by Executive Order 11265 of 11 January 1966.

Sailors and Marines with active duty in two or more of the periods wear a small bronze service star on the ribbon for each additional eligibility period.

Any member of the Naval Reserve who, after 31 December 1960, becomes eligible for the award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Vietnam Service Medal, is also eligible for award of the National Defense Service Medal.

Source: 1953 U.S. Navy Awards Manual, current Awards Manual


Korean Service Medal

President Harry S Truman created the Korean Service Medal with Executive Order No. 10179, of 8 November 1950 to commemorate the service of members of the Armed Forces of the United States during operations in the Korean area.

a. Eligibility for the medal  is based on the following:

(1) Duty must be performed in Korea, including the waters adjacent thereto within the following limits: From a point at latitude 39 · 30" N., longitude 122 · 45' E., southward to latitude 33 · N, longitude 122 · 45' E; thence eastward to latitude 33 · N., longitude 127 · 55' E.; thence northeastward to latitude 37 · 05' N., longitude 133 · E.; thence northward to latitude 40 · 40' N., longitude 133 · E.; thence northwestward to a point on the east coast of Korea at the juncture of Korea with the U.S.S.R.; or in such areas as Commander, Naval Forces Far East considers has having directly supported the military effort in Korea.

(2) Such duty must have been performed between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954.

 (3) Sea Duty. -- Service for one or more days in the designated area while attached to and serving on board a vessel of the Navy or Coast Guard, or other vessel to which regularly assigned for duty.

All members of the naval service of the United States who are eligible for the Korean Service Medal under existing regulations are automatically eligible for the United Nations Korean Medal.

The medal was initiated by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 483 (V) of 12 Dec. 1950. Presidential acceptance of this award for the U.S. Armed Forces was announced by the Department of Defense with its directive No. 110 23-3 of 27 Nov. 1951.

Originally entitled the "United Nations Service Medal" in the mid-1950s, a 1961 UN administrative change redesignated it the "United Nations Korean Medal."

The light blue in the ribbon -- and in all emblems of the United Nations -- was selected as a hue that did not appear in the flag of any member nation at that time of its creation. One anecdote suggests that the shade was designated "Stettinius Blue" in honor of Edward R. Stettinius, U.S. Secretary of State and leader of the United States delegation to the conference. The Army's Institute of Heraldry lists the color officially as "Bluebird."

No official reason is given for the 17 vertical stripes, but it is an important fact that 17 member nations officially bore arms as part of the U.N. forces in Korea (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlans, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. Denmark and Italy provided medical support only). Approximately 1 million service members of the United Nations and South Korea combined participated in the action.

The clasp illustrated is in English, but the medal itself was issued with clasps and reverses in approximately a dozen different languages to accommodate the native languages of participating member nations. The blue-and-whilte ribbon design is common to all the various medals, except that the Turkish version often is seen with a simple dark red ribbon replacing the blue-and-white version, a symbolic rejection of a color scheme the Turks perceived as representing the flag of historical rival Greece.


Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

With major worldwide conflicts like World War II and Korea giving way to the Cold War's smaller regional conflicts, the Department of Defense developed the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal to recognize such duty. The medal was authorized through Executive Order 10977 signed by President Kennedy on 4 Dec. 1961 and amplified later by Executive Order 11231 on 08 July 1965.

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal can be earned through U.S. military operations, operations in direct support of the United Nations and U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations.

A minimum of 30 days consecutive or 60 days nonconsecutive service is required for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, unless the full period of an operation is less than 30 days, for which participation for the entire period is required. Personnel engaged in combat or a duty which is equally as hazardous, qualify for award without regard for time in the area.

Those who qualify for award of more than one Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal are awarded a bronze service star for each successive qualifying period.

Originally, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was designated to replace the Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary medals. This was the case from 1962 until 1978, when the two services' medals once again entered their inventory for service-specific operations.

More than 20 periods of service have been authorized. A listing of eligible periods of service is found in the Navy Battle Streamer section.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Service 1958-

The Navy performed multiple peace keeping duties in the period following the Korean War in which foreign armed opposition was encountered or hostile action was imminent. 

These included the amphibious and other actions of the Sixth Fleet in response to the appeal of the Lebanese Government in 1958, Seventh Fleet operations off Quemoy and Matsu and in the Taiwan Straits between August 1958 and June 1963, the Berlin crisis of 1961, support of the United Nations operations in the Congo between July 1960 and September 1962 and again in November 1964, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the "quarantine" enforced by the Second Fleet, the Dominican operations in 1965 and 1966, certain actions in the Korean area during 1966 through 1974, carrier operations in support of Laos during 1961 and 1962, and of Vietnam, 1958 to 1965, of Cambodia, 1973, and of Thailand, 1958 to 1965 and 1973, operations to support evacuations from Cambodia, and Vietnam in 1975, operations in Lebanon bettween 1983 to 1987 (although no Navy ships/units are eligible after 1 August 1984), landings in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Haiti, as well as operations in the Mediterranen, Libya in 1986, and the Persian Gulf from 1987 to 1990, and 1995 to the present. The Joint Chiefs of Staff determined the campaigns and their period of eligibility, except for El Salvador
which was appointed by Congress.

In each of these operations the Navy's role was the worldwide utilization of sea power to deter or contain explicit acts of aggression, or for prolonged humanitarian operations.

5 Silver Stars

     1. Berlin (1961-1963) 
     2. Cuba (1962-1963) 
     3. Dominican Republic (1965-1966) 
     4. Lebanon (1958) 
     5. Quemoy and Matsu Islands (1958-1963) 
     6. Taiwan Straits (1958-1959)
     7. Korea (1966- 1974) 
     8. Congo ( 1960-1962)
     9. Congo (1964)
     10. Laos (1961-1962) 
     11. Vietnam (1958-1965)
     12. Cambodia (29 Mar 1973 - 15 Aug 1973)
     13. Thailand (29 Mar 1973 - 15 Aug 1973)
     14. Cambodia Evacuation (OP Eagle Pull) ( 11 Apr 1975 - 13 Apr 1975)
     15. Vietnam Evacuation (Op Frequent Wind) (29 Apr 1975 - 30 Apr 1975)
     16. Mayaquez OP (15 May 1975)
     17. Lebanon (01 Jun 1983 - 01 Dec 1987*
     18. Grenada (OP Urgent Fury) (23 Oct 1983 - 21 Nov 1983)
     19. Libya (OP Eldorado Canyon) (12 Apr 1986 - 17 Apr 1986)
     20. Persian Gulf (OP Ernest Will) 24 Jul 1987 - 01 Aug 1990)
     21. Panama (OP Just Cause) (20 Dec 1989 - 31 Jan 1990)
     22. Somalia (OP Restore Hope) (03 Dec 1992 - 31 Mar 1995)
     23. Haiti (OP Uphold Democray) (16 Sep 1994 - 31 Mar 1993)
     24. Persian Gulf/Iraq (OP Southern Watch) (01 Dec 1993 - TBD)
     25. El Salvador (Appd by Congress) (01 Jan 1981 - 01 Feb 1992)

*Although the terminal date of Lebanon operations was established by Joint Chiefs of  Staff as 1 December 1987, no Navy ships/units are considered to be eligible after 1 August 1984.

24 March 1998 


Vietnam Service Medal

The armed forces' Vietnam Service Medal  was established by Executive Order 11231 from President Johnson's desk on 8 July 1965.

The service medal was awarded to all members of the armed forces who service in Vietnam and contiguous waters and airspace between 3 July 1965 and 28 March 1973.

In addition, personnel serving in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia in direct support of operations in Vietnam during the same time period also were eligible for the medal.

To qualify for award of the VSM an individual must meet one of the following qualifications:

(1) Be attached to or regularly serve for 1 or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations.

(2) Be attached to or regularly serve for 1 or more days aboard a Naval vessel directly supporting military operations.

(3) Actually participate as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly supporting military operations.

(4) Serve on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Vietnam or contiguous areas, except that time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations.

 Individuals qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for reason of service in Vietnam between I July 1958 and 3 July 1965 (inclusive) shall remain qualified for that medal. Upon request, any such individual may be awarded the VSM instead of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. No person will be entitled to both awards for Vietnam service.

Vietnam and contiguous waters, as used herein, is defined as an area which includes Vietnam and the water adjacent thereto within the following specified limits: From a point on the East Coast of Vietnam at the juncture of Vietnam with China southeastward to 21 N. Latitude, 108° 15'E. Longitude; thence, southward to 18° N. Latitude, 108° 15'E. Longitude; thence southeastward to 17° 30'N. Latitude, 111° E. Longitude; thence southward to 11° N. Latitude; 111° E. Longitude, thence southwestward to 7° N. Latitude, 105° E. Longitude; thence westward to 7° N. Latitude, 103° E. longitude, thence northward to 9° 30'N. Latitude, 103° E. Longitude, thence northeastward to 10° 15'N. Latitude, 104° 27'E. Longitude, thence northward to a point on the West Coast of Vietnam at the juncture of Vietnam with Cambodia.

There are a total of 17 campaign stars authorized for the Vietnam Service Medal. Personnel are authorized one bronze campaign star for each qualifying campaign with a silver star worn in lieu of five bronze stars.

The design of the medal's suspension ribbon reflects that of the flag of the former South Vietnam -- yellow with three red stripes. The green trim at the edges is suggestive of the jungle nature of the conflict.

A listing of eligible periods of service is found in the Navy Battle Streamer section.

20 July 1998


Korean Presidential Unit Citation


Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam


Korean War Medal

Recently, the Defense Department has announced that Korean War veterans may accept and wear the (Republic of Korea) War Service Medal.

It first was offered on Nov. 15, 1951, by the South Korean Minister of Defense to the Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command. The medal was intended for award to those who participated in the Korean War for at least 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days on or after June 25, 1950.

In his original offer, the Korean Minister of Defense stated that, "It is requested that you accept the Republic of Korea's recognition of the splendid service rendered by the United Nations command and delegate authority to commanders of forces of the nations fighting in Korea to award the Korean War Ribbon to members of their commands."

The United States acknowledged the offer but turned it down. Over the years many Korean War veterans had tried to get the Defense Department to accept the medal, but to no avail. In 1996 the Army noted that it could find no record that the Korean Government ever offered the medal to the Department of Defense, which was technically true: the original offer was made to the United Nations Command. The Army then took the position that unless the Korean Government resurrected their original offer, the Army was "not in a position to officially recognize or approve acceptance of the medal."

Interestingly, a number of other countries that participated in the Korean War did accept the medal, and examples are found in medals groups from those countries. On August 20, 1998, Francis M. Rush Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, approved the acceptance and wear of the Korean Service Medal.

To be eligible for this foreign award, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps personnel must have:

served between the outbreak of hostilities, June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953;
been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days; and  performed their duty within the territorial limits of, in the waters immediately adjacent to or in aerial flight over Korea while supporting or participating in combat.

Further criteria will be set forth in an amendment to Uniform Regulations. A current copy of the medal is available but does not have the Taeguk (the traditional Korean Yin-Yang symbol) woven into the drape as the originals (shown above) do.


     1953 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (including 1954 changes)
     Borts, Lawrence H., United Nations Medals and Missions: The Medals and
     Ribbons of the United Nations, Medals of America Press, Fountain Inn, SC, 1998


United Nations Korean Medal

All members of the naval service of the United States who are eligible for the Korean Service Medal under existing regulations are automatically eligible for the United Nations Korean Medal.


Vietnam Campaign Medal

The Vietnam Campaign Medal  issued to eligible U.S. forces by the then-Republic of South Vietnam.



This Web Page was created by and
is maintained by Paul D. Henriott
Last updated 15 June 2005