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Posted on Nov 11, 2010 in Stuff We Like

Veteran’s Day 2010

By Brian King

On this Veteran’s Day I’d like to take a moment and reflect back on one veteran in my family that has been an inspiration for me.  My grandfather, who passed away over 20 years ago, served as part of the Flying Tigers stationed in China during the Second World War.  He was a radio repair man and I really know very little else about his service in the war.  I was a teenager when he passed away and it never occured to me to that when he spoke of his adventures over there I should have been writing them down.  Now, decades later, I really have no recollection of his tales.

When I fired up the Armchair General website almost seven years ago, I mentioned him as a prominent influence on my path in life, and that holds true to this day.  As I work at my desk, I keep his medals and campaign ribbons on the wall next to me.  They remind me of his service and sacrifice every day, but especially on days like today – Veteran’s Day – it reminds me of my connection to a man that did his duty to help make this world a better place for me and my children.  In that spirit, I’d like to thank all veterans reading this for their service and remind all readers to listen to the stories of veterans.  Write them down if you can.  Appreciate the sacrifice it takes to get on a plane, a boat, or a train not knowing if you will ever see your family again. 


Today, I took a picture of the medals and ribbons to share them with you.  I think I know what most of them are, but if you want to help peg down the questionable ones for me, I’d really appreciate it! Even the exercise of listing his medals has given me some insights into his accomplishments during the war.  For example, he was apparently very handy with a rifle (expert) and aside from working with radios he also was an aerial gunner at some point. 

Thank you for your service grandpa!

  1. World War II Campaign Medal
  2. Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
  3. 14th Air Force patch
  4. Army Nurse Corps? (not sure why he would have this)
  5. Army Air Corps Wings Badge?
  6. National Defense Service Medal
  7. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award?
  8. ? – related to #18, some sort of China Theater Campaign ribbon
  9. Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2 campaigns)
  10. American Defense 1940
  11. Army Good Conduct Medal
  12. Citizens’ Military Training Camp marksman
  13. Expert (Rifle)
  14. Aerial Gunner medal
  15. ?
  16. Radio Mechanic Technician Badge
  17. Sleeve patch for communications group
  18. Related to China, but not sure
  19. Army Good Conduct Medal


  1. 15 is six months service in a combat area,,each bar,worn on the sleeve of the dress uniform.

  2. Number 8 and 18:

    World War II China War Memorial Medal and Ribbon

    Instituted: 1946

    Criteria: Authorized by Nationalist China to all US personnel who served in the China-India-Burma Theatre during WWII for their assistance to the Chinese in their fight against Japan during the second World War.

    Awarded to both military and civilian personnel who were directly involved in the war effort. Perhaps the largest single group of Americans to receive this medal were members of the 14th Air Force, the famed ‘Flying Tigers.’ This medal was presented to them in a special ceremony during a convention of the 14th Air Force Association held in New Orleans on August 2, 1975. The medals were formally presented to about 200 veterans by the Ambassador of the Republic of China and Anna Chennault, the widow of General Claire L. Chennault, the former commander of the Flying Tigers. Established as Medal in Commemoration of Victory in the Resistance Against Aggression, but is more commonly known as the China War Memorial Medal. It was established by the Republic of China in 1944 and issued October of 1946.

    Number 15:

    Army Overseas Service Bar

    Approximately 1 1/2” long and 1/2′ wide military spec stripe. Each stripe that is placed horizontal on the right sleeve of the army uniform signifies 6 months of service overseas. Also called ‘Hershey Bars.’

  3. Upon trying to look up similiar medals from my Dad’s service in World War 2, I am seeing the same medals you have. I would love to email more with you if possible