The War Medal 1939-1945 was awarded for 28 days full-time service in the Armed Forces between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Operational and non-operational service may be counted, providing that it was of 28 days or more duration. In the Merchant Navy there is a requirement that the 28 days should have been served at sea. A member qualifies for the award where service was brought to an end by death, wounds or other disabilities due to service or by cessation of hostilities on 2 September 1945.
The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.
The medal is nickel plated with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse. The reverse has a lion standing on a double-headed dragon. The top of the reverse shows the dates 1939 and 1945.
The ribbon colours of red, white and blue represent the colours of the Union Flag.