List of Fleet Air Arm Honours and Awards 1939-1945
Commander of the Order of the 
British Empire 
awarded to FAA Personnel


Commander of the Order of theBritish Empire



With WWI lasting longer than expected and no suitable way to reward services to the war effort by civilians at home and servicemen in support positions, King George V created another order with five levels. The first two levels confer knighthood. The three levels - Commander, Officer and Member - are available to Commonwealth citizens. The order could be given generously for services to the Empire at home, in India and in the Dominions and colonies. The order was created mainly to award non-combatant services to the war and was to include women, whom most existing orders excluded. When the order was created in 1917 it had only one division, but was divided into Civil and Military divisions in 1918. The order at any level can be awarded for gallantry as well as for service. The order took an abrupt change in 1937 when the insignia and the colour of the ribbon were changed. 


A silver emblem of two oak leaves is worn on the riband when the appointment to the order is for gallantry. 


Original The civil ribbon was purple (1.5" wide). The military ribbon had a narrow central stripe of scarlet added. 
Current (after 1937) The civil ribbon is rose-pink with pearl grey edges. The military ribbon has a narrow central stripe of pearl grey added. 


The order was established in June 1917. In December 1918, military and civil divisions were established.  On 9 March 1937, the insignia and ribbon were changed.
After 1 January 1958, gallantry awards were recognized with silver oak leaves. 

For information on Fleet Air Arm campaign medal rolls and individual awards contact the relevant Armed Services Medal Offices. 

  • Navy: Ministry of Defence, NPP Acs 3 (b) 4, HMS Centurion, Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO13 9XA, UK
  • Royal Air Force: Ministry of Defence, CS Sec 1d, Room F93, Building 256, HQ RAF PTC, RAF Innsworth, Gloucestershire GL3 1EZ, UK
  • Royal Marines: Ministry of Defence, Drafting and Record Office, Royal Marines, HMS Centurion; Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO13 9XA, UK 
  • Merchant Navy: Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton SO15 1EG. 
Royal Navy Ministry of Defence Website Royal Navy: Sources of Information. Online information: How to obtain Royal Navy Service Records & Medals

Last Modified: 5 April 2001

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