The medals/ribbons were researched and provided by Kevin De Voe, son of Milton E. De Voe, who served aboard the Suwannee.
Presidential Unit Citation
(20 total awarded to Navy in WW2)
The Presidential Unit Citation was awarded "For extraordinary heroism in action against powerful units of the Japanese Fleet during the Battle off Samar, Philippines, October 25, 1944. Silhouetted against the dawn as the Central Japanese Force steamed through San Bernardino Strait towards Leyte Gulf, Task Unit 77.4.3 was suddenly taken under attack by hostile cruisers on its port hand, destroyers on the starboard and battleships from the rear. Quickly laying down a heavy smoke screen, the gallant ships of the Task Unit waged battle fiercely against the superior speed and fire power of the advancing enemy, swiftly launching and rearming aircraft and violently zigzagging in protection of vessels stricken by hostile armor-piercing shells, anti-personnel projectiles and suicide bombers. With one carrier of the group sunk, others badly damaged and squadron aircraft courageously coordinating in the attacks by making dry runs over the enemy Fleet as the Japanese relentlessly closed in for the kill, two of the Unit's valiant destroyers and one destroyer escort charged the battleships point-blank and, expending their last torpedoes in desperate defense of the entire group, went down under the enemy's heavy shells as a climax to two and one half hours of sustained and furious combat. The courageous determination and the superb teamwork of the officers and men who fought the embarked planes and who manned the ships of Task Unit 77.4.3 were instrumental in effecting the retirement of a hostile force threatening our Leyte invasion operations and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
For the President, /signed/ JAMES FORRESTAL Secretary of the Navy
The American Defense Service Medal is a decoration of the United States military, recognizing service before America’s entry into the Second World War but during the initial years of the European conflict. The medal is authorized to military members who performed active duty between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941. The United States Navy excluded Reservists who were on active duty for less than ten days, but otherwise the Navy awarded the medal to all personnel who served on active duty at any time during the eligibility period (provided they passed their initial physical examinations). The medal was established June 28, 1941 by President Franklin Roosevelt, in Executive Order 8808.
The American Campaign Medal was a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 ssued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally issued as the “American Theater Ribbon”, the decoration was intended to recognize those service members who had performed duty in the American Theater of Operations during World War II. To be awarded the American Campaign Medal, a service member was required to either perform one year of duty (cumulative) within the continental borders of the United States, or perform 30 days consecutive/60 non-consecutive days of duty outside the borders of the United States but within the American Theater of Operations. The American Theater was defined as the entirety of the United States to include most of the Atlantic Ocean, a portion of Alaska, and a small portion of the Pacific bordering California and Baja California. The eligibility dates of the American Campaign Medal were from December 7, 1941 to March 2, 1946. Service stars were authorized to any service member who was engaged in actual combat with Axis forces within the American theater. This primarily applied to those members of the military which had engaged in anti-U-Boat patrols in the Atlantic. The American Campaign Medal was issued as a ribbon for the entirety of the Second World War, and was only made a full-sized medal in 1947. The medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones. The reverse side was designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman and is the same design as used on the reverse of both the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. The first recipient of the American Campaign Medal was General of the Army George C. Marshall. The Fleet Marine Force combat operation insignia is authorized for certain sailors.
The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The decoration was intended to recognize those military service members who had performed military duty in the European Theater (to include North Africa and the Middle East) during the years of the Second World War. Colored bands representing Germany (on the ribbon's left side), Italy (on the ribbon's right side), and the United States (in the center of the ribbon) are visible in the ribbon. The brown and green areas of the ribbon represent the terrain of the area of conflict, which ranged from beaches and sand, to grass and woodlands, to mountains.
Originally known as the “EAME Ribbon”, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is awarded for any service performed between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946 provided such service was performed in the geographical theater areas of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. For those service members who participated in multiple battle campaigns, service stars are authorized to the decoration with the arrowhead device awarded for any airborne or amphibious operations performed. The Fleet Marine Force combat operation insignia is also authorized for certain sailors.
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration of the Second World War which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945 and was created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones. The reverse side was designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman and is the same design as used on the reverse of the European-African-Middle Eastern and American Campaign Medals. There were 21 Army and 48 Navy/Marine official campaigns of the Pacific Theater, denoted on the service ribbon by campaign stars; some construction battalion units issued the medal with award numerals. The arrowhead device is authorized for those campaigns which involved amphibious assaults. The Fleet Marine Force combat operation insignia is also authorized for certain sailors. The flag colors of Japan and the United States are visible in the ribbon. The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was first issued as a ribbon in 1941. A full medal was authorized in 1947, the first of which was presented to General of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur. The European Theater equivalent of the decoration was known as the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
The World War II Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. The decoration commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of the Government of the Philippine Islands, who served on active duty, or as a reservist, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946. The World War II Victory Medal was first issued as a ribbon, and was referred to simply as the “Victory Ribbon.” By 1946, a full medal had been established which was referred to as the World War II Victory Medal. The medal's front depicts Nike standing victorious, holding a broken sword, representing the broken power of the Axis, with one foot upon the helmet of Mars, the Roman god of war, representing the end of the conflict. Behind Nike is a sunburst, representing the dawn of peace. The reverse recalls the "Four Freedoms" speech by President Roosevelt, with a laurel sprig, surrounded by the words "United States of America", and the dates of the conflict, "1941-1945". The edges of the ribbon revisit the multi-colored rainbow ribbon of the Allied World War I Victory Medal. This again honors all the allied nations. The wide red center represents the new sacrifice of blood by World War II combatants. The thin white lines separating the central red band from the outer multi-colored bands represent the rays of new hope, two of them signifying that this was the second global conflict.
The Philippine Presidential Unit Citation is a decoration of the Republic of the Philippines which has been awarded to certain units of the United States military for actions both during and subsequent to the Second World War.
The decoration was first created in 1946 and retroactively awarded to any unit of the U.S. and Philippine military which had served in the defense or liberation of the Philippine Islands.
This Unit Citation was awarded for the same action as the Presidential Unit Citation (see above)
The Philippine Liberation Medal is a military award of the Republic of the Philippines which was created by an order of Commonwealth Army of the Philippines Headquarters on December 20, 1944. The award was presented to any service member, of both Philippine Commonwealth and allied militaries, who participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands between the dates of October 17, 1944 and September 2, 1945
The Philippine Liberation Medal is intended to recognize military service in the last days of World War II when the military of Japan was driven from the Philippines and then to eventually surrender in September 1945. To be awarded the medal, a service member must have served in the Philippines for at least thirty days during the eligible time period, or must have participated in one of the following actions:
- Participation in the initial landing operation of Leyte and adjoining islands from October 7 to October 20, 1944
- Participation in any engagement against hostile Japanese forces during the Philippine Liberation Campaign of October 17, 1944 to September 2, 1945
Personnel who are awarded the medal for participation in the above mentioned operations are authorized a service star to the Philippine Liberation Medal. Personnel who earned the medal for general service during the eligible time period are awarded the medal without device. Members of the United States Armed Forces entitled to the Philippine Liberation Medal were usually also eligible to receive the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, often with a service star, for participation in the freeing of the Philippines.
A Service Star, also referred to as a Battle Star, Campaign Star, or Engagement Star, is an attachment to a United States military decoration which denotes participation in military campaigns or multiple bestowals of the same award. Service stars are typically issued for campaign medals, service medals, ribbon awards, and certain military badges. Service stars are different from award stars, which are issued for multiple awards of meritorious and combat decorations. The United States military issues bronze and silver service stars, with a silver service star issued in lieu of five bronze. Use as a Campaign star: For instance, six campaigns, served on a campaign medal, would be annotated by one silver and one bronze service star. In some situations (e.g., the Southwest Asia Service Medal, which is a campaign medal/ribbon), each recipient is entitled to at least one campaign star. Thus, a Southwest Asia Service Medal without at least one bronze star would be inappropriate. Use as a Service star: For instance, three awards of a Sea Service Ribbon would be annotated by the ribbon with two bronze service stars. In some situations, service stars are only issued after the second award of a decoration. Service stars issued for actions in which a United States Navy vessel participated are also placed on campaign streamers, which are affixed to the U.S. Navy flag. The regulations for this award originated in 1942, which defined naval campaign areas and designated engagements. Participation in such engagements, by ships and by individuals, was then denoted by service stars. A common point of confusion is to confuse bronze and silver service stars with the Silver Star and Bronze Star. The main difference between the two is that the Bronze and Silver Star Medals are individual decorations while service stars are worn on awards and are not individual decorations or medals.