The Federation of
Merchant Mariners

The Arctic Star

The Arctic Star

The qualifying period for the Arctic Star is ‘service of any length’, recognising the particular severity of the conditions experienced by those who served on the Arctic Convoys. Eligibility is extended to include all who served north of the Arctic Circle in WWII.   Those eligible will include members of all three Services as well as the Merchant Navy who crewed the ships taking the vital supplies to Russia.

The Arctic Star is granted for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees, 32’N) from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945 inclusive.  The Arctic Star is intended to commemorate the Arctic Convoys and is designed primarily for the ships of the convoys to North Russia and their escorts.  Eligibility is defined as follows:

Navy and Merchant Navy – Naval and Merchant Navy service anywhere at sea north of the Arctic Circle to include, but not limited exclusively to, those ships participating in, and in support of, convoys to North Russia.  Fleet Air Arm Personnel, not qualified by sea service, may qualify under the conditions applying to the Royal Air Force.


Air Force – Aircrew of the Royal Air Force will be eligible if they landed north of the Arctic Circle or served in the air over this area.  Non aircrew on operational service in the area, for example ground crew of those sailing with CAM ships (Catapult Aircraft Merchant Ships) are also eligible.

Army - Army personnel serving on His Majesty’s ships or in defensively equipped Merchant ships qualify under the rules applying to the Navy or Merchant Navy.  In addition, personnel taking part in land operations north of the Arctic Circle will also be eligible.

Civilians - Civilians serving with the Forces – members of the few approved categories of civilians who qualify for Campaign Stars will be eligible if, in support of military operations, they meet any of the above qualifying criteria.

Foreign nationals - Commissioned or enlisted in British or the then Dominion Forces (e.g. Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Australian Navy) are eligible provided the individual did not receive a similar award from their own Government.

General – eligibility for the Arctic Star has no effect upon eligibility for WWII recognition previously awarded and does not suggest automatic eligibility for any further awards.

Eligible Veterans and next of kin are now encouraged to apply using the relevant application forms which can be found on the Veterans UK website, or by telephoning the MoD Medal Office on 08457 800 900 for further details.  An application must be made as it is simply not possible for the MoD to contact Veterans or families of all those who may be eligible going back almost 70 years.

Members of the Federation of Merchant Mariners should contact us if they require any assistance or advice.

Federation of Merchant Mariners, 16 Glebe Road, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. PE28 4PH. Tel: 01480 383166. Email:

Click here to download the application form...