15 engagement stars

The light cruiser USS Oklahoma City was in active service over a period of 35 years and saw action in World War II and the Vietnam War. The ship was awarded ten medals and three commendations, and earned 15 engagement stars for combat action and service under hostile conditions. This page lists the awards and the time periods they apply to. It also lists the qualifications necessary to receive the awards and the periods of service for which the Okie Boat earned the awards. Crew members who were assigned to the ship during these periods are authorized to wear these decorations. Decorations are listed in order of precedence.

Note: quotations are from the "Navy And Marine Corps Awards Manual" of August 22, 2006, and the U. S. Navy World War II Ship Decorations list. Precedence is from the U. S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Awards Precedence Chart.


Combat Action Ribbon

1 March 1961 - 15 August 1973

"Awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when the Coast Guard, or units thereof, operate under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain/colonel and junior thereto, who have actively participated in ground or surface combat."

"The principal eligibility criterion is, regardless of military occupational specialty or rating, the individual must have rendered satisfactory performance under enemy fire while actively participating in a ground or surface engagement."

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following periods:

From To
07-Apr-1972 -
09-Apr-1972 -
11-Apr-1972 -
13-Apr-1972 14-Apr-1972
16-Apr-1972 -
19-Apr-1972 -
22-Apr-1972 23-Apr-1972
25-Apr-1972 -
09-May-1972 -
12-May-1972 -
15-May-1972 -
09-Oct-1972 -
26-Oct-1972 -

The Combat Action Ribbon was awarded only once for one or more periods in Southeast Asia from 1 March 1961 through 15 August 1973. Therefore, the OK City and it's crew are eligible for only one award for one or more of the dates listed above. The award does not apply to actions in World War II.


Navy Unit Commendation

Navy Unit Commendation

"Awarded by SECNAV to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that has distinguished itself by outstanding heroism in action against the enemy ... To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Silver Star Medal for heroism, or a Legion of Merit for meritorious service to an individual"

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following period:

From To
05-Apr-1972 04-Dec-1972


Meritorious Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendation

"Awarded by SECNAV, CNO, or CMC to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that has distinguished itself, under combat or non-combat conditions, by either valorous or meritorious achievement ... To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Bronze Star Medal, or achievement of like caliber in a non-combat situation, to an individual."

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following periods:

From To
14-Sep-1966 25-Sep-1966
26-Nov-1968 01-Mar-1972
22-Apr-1975 30-Apr-1975


American Campaign Medal

American Campaign Service Medal

7 December 1941 - 2 March 1946

"Effective October 12, 1945, members and former members of the land and naval forces of the United States ... who served in the continental United States for an aggregate period of one year between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946, inclusive, may be awarded the American Campaign Medal ..."



Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal 2 engagement stars

Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

7 December 1941 - 2 March 1946

"[Asiatic pacific] campaign medals ... are authorized for all personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who, during the period from 7 December 1941 to the terminal date designated above for each medal, shall have served in the prescribed area under ... the following conditions: (a) Sea Duty. Attached to or serving aboard a vessel of the Navy ... for a period of 30 days. ..."

"Stars authorized for actual combat in operations and engagements ... will be known as engagement stars. ... Not more than one star will be awarded for a single operation or engagement. ... Frequently an operation or engagement is composed of several actions. Each action has been subdivided by a dash and number in sequence. ... Participation in one or more of these actions entitles an individual to only one star ..."

"The prerequisite to the wearing of a star on an area service ribbon shall be honorable service in a ship ... at the time it participated in actual combat ..."

"P34 Okinawa Gunto operation 17 March - 30 June 1945
P34-1 Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto 24 March - 30 June 1945"

OK City participated from 17 June 1945 - 20 June 1945 - one engagement star

"P35 3rd Fleet operations against Japan 10 July - 15 August 1945"

OK City participated from 10 July 1945 - 15 August 1945 - one engagement star

Note: The medal was awarded to all personnel serving in the area. Additional engagement stars were awarded for each combat operation.


WWII Victory Medal

World War II Victory Medal

7 December 1941 - 31 December 1946

"The World War II Victory Medal may be awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States ... who served on active duty in world War II at any time between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946, both dates inclusive."



Naval Occupation Service Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal (Asia)

2 September 1945 - 30 January 1946

"Eligibility ... requires that the individual shall have been attached to, present, and serving on permanent duty with an organization in the naval service of the United States [that has] performed duty in the occupation of enemy, or former enemy, national territory."

"Occupation duty in the Asiatic-Pacific area shall be credited to organizations for duty performed between 2 September 1945 and 27 April 1952."



National Defense Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal

1 January 1961 - 14 August 1974

Awarded for "honorable active service as a member of the armed forces ..."



Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 2 Engagement starts

Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal

1 July 1958 - 3 July 1965 and 29 April 1975 - 30 April 1975

"Awarded to personnel of the U. S. Armed forces who, after 1 July 1958, participate as members of U. S. military units in a U. S. military operation in which personnel ... are placed in such a situation that hostile action by foreign armed forces was imminent ... even though such hostile action did not materialize. ... Personnel must ... serve not less than 30 consecutive days ... or 60 non-consecutive days. ... Personnel are entitled to the award if they were attached to or served aboard a ship or unit for at least one day during the period(s) for which that ship or unit is listed as eligible."

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have designated the following operations as eligible for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)."

"Vietnam: 1 Jul 58 to 3 Jul 65. Water areas from a point on the east coast of Vietnam at the border of Vietnam with China southeastward to 21N, 108-15E; thence southward to 18N, 108-15E; thence southeastward to 17-30N, 111E; thence southward to 11N, 111E; thence southwestward to 7N, 105E; thence westward to 7N, 103E; thence northward to 9-30N, 103E; thence northeastward to 10-15N, 104-273; thence northward to a point on the west coast of Vietnam at the border of Vietnam with Cambodia. In addition, the land area of Thailand is included."

"Korea: 1 Oct 66 to 30 Jun 74. This area includes the entire land mass of the Republic of Korea and the waters and air space enclosed by the following boundaries: from a point located at 32N on the coast of China, east to 32N by 129-203; thence northeastward to 36N by 134E; thence north to the coast of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); thence along the coastline of the USSR, Korea, and China to the initial point."

"Vietnam Evacuation (Operation FREQUENT WIND): 29 to 30 Apr 75."

"Service stars are authorized for participation in each subsequent operation. Participation in two or more engagements within the same operation does not entitle the individual to wear a service star on the AFEM. ... All stars will be worn ... on the suspension ribbon of the large medal, and service ribbon or ribbon bar, to denote subsequent awards received."

Note: The medal was awarded for the first operation. Engagement stars were awarded for each subsequent operation.

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following periods (the ship chose to accept the AFEM for the Vietnam Evacuation operation in lieu of another engagement star on the Vietnam Service Medal):

Operation From To
Vietnam 03-Apr-1962 07-Apr-1962
17-Apr-1962 18-Apr-1962
19-Jul-1964 25-Jul-1964
04-Aug-1964 03-Sep-1964
16-Nov-1964 28-Nov-1964
18-Mar-1965 29-Mar-1965
15-May-1965 23-May-1965
08-Jun-1965 24-Jun-1965
North Korea 20-Apr-1969 27-Apr-1969
Vietnam Evacuation 29-Apr-1975 30-Apr-1975


Vietnam Service Medal 11 engagement stars

Vietnam Service Medal

4 July 1965 - 28 March 1973 and 29 April 1975 - 30 April 1975

"Awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States, serving at any time between July 1965 and 28 March 1973, in the area defined under the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for Vietnam. ... personnel who were awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for their participation in Operation FREQUENT WIND, during the period 29 to 30 April 1975, may elect the VSM in lieu of the AFEM for such service. However, no person shall be entitled to both awards for the same service."

"Only personnel attached to ships or units, and who actually participated in the given operation, are eligible for the Vietnam Service Medal. This includes personnel attached to a squadron or unit embarked in a ship during the period for which the ship is eligible."

"An engagement star is authorized for each of the following campaigns. All stars will be worn ... on the suspension ribbon of the large medal, and service ribbon or ribbon bar, to denote subsequent awards received."

Note: The medal was awarded for the first campaign. Engagement stars were awarded for each subsequent campaign.

The following table lists all Vietnam War campaigns:

Campaign From To
I. Vietnam Advisory Campaign 15-Mar-1962 07-Mar-1965
II. Vietnam Defense Campaign 08-Mar-1965 24-Dec-1965
III. Vietnam Counter-offensive 25-Dec-1965 30-Jun-1966
IV. Vietnam Counter-offensive II 01-Jul-1966 31-May-1967
V. Vietnam Counter-offensive III 01-Jun-1967 29-Jan-1968
VI. Tet Counter-offensive 30-Jan-1968 01-Apr-1968
VII. Vietnam Counter-offensive IV 02-Apr-1968 30-Jun-1968
VIII. Vietnam Counter-offensive V 01-Jul-1968 01-Nov-1968
IX. Vietnam Counter-offensive VI 02-Nov-1968 22-Feb-1969
X. Tet 69 Counter-offensive 23-Feb-1969 08-Jun-1969
XI. Vietnam, Summer-Fall 1969 09-Jun-1969 31-Oct-1969
XII. Vietnam, Winter-Spring 1970 01-Nov-1969 30-Apr-1970
XIII. Sanctuary Counter-offensive 01-May-1970 30-Jun-1970
XIV. Vietnam Counter-offensive VII 01-Jul-1970 30-Jun-1971
XV. Consolidation I 01-Jul-1971 30-Nov-1971
XVI. Consolidation II 01-Dec-1971 29-Mar-1972
XVII. Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign 30-Mar-1972 28-Jan-1973
XVIII. Operation FREQUENT WIND 29-Apr-1975 30-Apr-1975

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following periods:

Campaign From To
II. Vietnam Defense Campaign 17-Jul-1965 28-Jul-1965
28-Aug-1965 13-Sep-1965
13-Oct-1965 21-Oct-1965
28-Nov-1965 12-Dec-1965
III. Vietnam Counter-offensive 20-Jan-1966 23-Jan-1966
26-Jan-1966 31-Jan-1966
27-Feb-1966 05-Mar-1966
14-Mar-1966 29-Mar-1966
15-May-1966 03-Jun-1966
IV. Vietnam Counter-offensive II 11-Jul-1966 26-Jul-1966
25-Aug-1966 17-Sep-1966
12-Oct-1966 21-Oct-1966
29-Oct-1966 02-Nov-1966
15-Nov-1966 18-Nov-1966
IX. Vietnam Counter-offensive VI 08-Dec-1968 16-Dec-1968
10-Jan-1969 24-Jan-1969
10-Feb-1969 22-Feb-1969
X. Tet 69 Counter-offensive 24-Feb-1969 04-Mar-1969
04-Apr-1969 17-Apr-1969
20-May-1969 01-Jun-1969
07-Jun-1969 08-Jun-1969
XI. Vietnam, Summer-Fall 1969 09-Jun-1969 14-Jun-1969
11-Jul-1969 23-Jul-1969
25-Aug-1969 07-Sep-1969
06-Oct-1969 22-Oct-1969
XII. Vietnam, Winter-Spring 1970 26-Nov-1969 30-Dec-1969
10-Jan-1970 21-Jan-1970
11-Feb-1970 15-Feb-1970
22-Mar-1970 27-Mar-1970
05-Apr-1970 14-Apr-1970
XIII. Sanctuary Counter-offensive 24-May-1970 30-May-1970
11-Jun-1970 17-Jun-1970
XIV. Vietnam Counter-offensive VII 22-Jul-1970 07-Aug-1970
22-Sep-1970 08-Oct-1970
23-Nov-1970 08-Dec-1970
10-Jan-1971 18-Jan-1971
08-Feb-1971 16-Feb-1971
24-Mar-1971 09-Apr-1971
15-May-1971 22-May-1971
30-May-1971 07-Jun-1971
XV. Consolidation I 12-Jul-1971 18-Jul-1971
26-Aug-1971 06-Sep-1971
25-Oct-1971 16-Nov-1971
XVI. Consolidation II 01-Dec-1971 02-Dec-1971
28-Jan-1972 05-Feb-1972
14-Feb-1972 01-Mar-1972
XVII. Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign 07-Apr-1972 02-May-1972
09-May-1972 05-Jun-1972
27-Jun-1972 21-Jul-1972
29-Sep-1972 16-Oct-1972
23-Oct-1972 31-Oct-1972
25-Nov-1972 06-Dec-1972
20-Feb-1973 01-Mar-1973


Humanitarian Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

"The Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM) is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, subsequent to 1 April 1975, distinguish themselves as individuals or as members of U.S. military units by meritorious, direct, nonroutine participation in a significant military act or operation of a humanitarian nature. The following types of military acts or operations may qualify for award of the HSM:
(c) Evacuation of personnel from an area threatened by a hostile force."

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following period (Operation FREQUENT WIND):

From To
29-Apr-1975 30-Apr-1975


RVN MUC Gallantry

Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation - Gallantry

Also known as Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.

"Awarded by the Chief of the Joint General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces: Gallantry Cross Color with Palm and Frame (8 February 1962 to 28 March 1973). SECNAV has specifically authorized certain units of the Naval service to accept and wear these awards. Such authorization is required in all cases for participation."

The Oklahoma City was approved for this award for the following periods:

From To
21-Mar-1966 -
30-May-1966 -
08-Dec-1968 -
10-Dec-1968 11-Dec-1968
13-Feb-1969 15-Feb-1969
20-Feb-1969 21-Feb-1969
25-Feb-1969 27-Feb-1969
01-Mar-1969 03-Mar-1969
07-Apr-1969 -
11-Apr-1969 15-Apr-1969
17-Apr-1969 -
21-May-1969 26-May-1969
09-Jun-1969 10-Jun-1969
13-Jun-1969 -
19-Jul-1969 21-Jul-1969
01-Sep-1969 06-Sep-1969
29-Mar-1972 01-Jan-1973


Vietnam Campaign Medal

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

1 March 1961 - 28 March 1973

"Established by Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces ... to recognize service performed in Vietnam during the period 1 March 1961 to 28 March 1973, inclusive. ... U.S. Armed Forces personnel are eligible for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal [who] Served a cumulative six months outside the geographical limits of South Vietnam, but contributing direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces during such period. Only those personnel who meet the criteria established for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam) or the Vietnam Service Medal are considered to have contributed direct combat support."



In addition to the awards to the ship and the entire crew, numerous awards were made to individual crew members including:

  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Navy Achievement Medal
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Expert Pistol Award
  • Sharpshooter Pistol Award
  • Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross with Palm
  • Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star
  • Vietnamese Navy Meritorious Service Medal
  • Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class
  • Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal Second Class
  • Vietnamese National Order of Vietnam, Fifth Class
  • Vietnamese Technical Service Medal, Second Class

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Miscellaneous

If you would like to verify what awards you are entitled to wear, go to the US National Archives Veterans Service Records page Obtaining Information on Navy Awards and Medals.