Medal for Humane Action

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Medal for Humane Action
Awarded by United States Military
Type Service medal
Eligibility Extended duty in support of the Berlin Airlift
Awarded for "To commemorate military service in direct support of the Berlin Airlift"
Status obsolete
First awarded June 26, 1948
Last awarded September 30, 1949
Next (higher) Navy: Navy Occupation Service Medal
Marine Corps: Navy Occupation Service Medal
Army: Army of Occupation Medal
Air Force: Army of Occupation Medal[1]
Coast Guard: Navy Occupation Service Medal
Next (lower) National Defense Service Medal[1]
Related Berlin Airlift Device
Medal for Humane Action ribbon.svg
Service ribbon

The Medal for Humane Action is a military award of the United States armed forces which was created by an act (63 Stat. 477) of the United States Congress on July 20, 1949. The medal recognizes those military service members who performed extended duty in support of the Berlin Airlift. The medal is based on the design of the Berlin Airlift Device.[2]


This medal was created for the single purpose of recognizing service during a single action (the Berlin Airlift) and was never issued again. The specific criteria for receipt of this award was established by Executive Order 10325, "Regulations governing the award of the Medal for Humane Action," of February 7, 1952.[3] To be awarded the Medal for Humane Action a service member was required to have performed over 120 days of duty, within the geographical boundary of Berlin, with such duty being in support of the Berlin Airlift between the dates of June 26, 1948 and September 30, 1949. Posthumous award may be made to any person who lost his life while, or as a direct result of, participating in the Berlin airlift, without regard to the length of such service, if otherwise eligible. Those so qualifying were also eligible for either the Army of Occupation Medal, or the Navy Occupation Service Medal, respectively with the Berlin Airlift Device, and both medals were authorized for simultaneous award and display.[4]


The medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones of the Army Heraldic Section and is made of bronze and round, 1.25 inches (32 mm) in diameter. It depicts a Douglas C-54 Skymaster over a wheat wreath. At the center of the wreath is the Coat of arms of Berlin. The reverse bears the eagle, shield, and arrows from the seal of the Department of Defense and reads "For Humane Action / To Supply Necessities of Life to the People of Berlin Germany". The medal is suspended by a ribbon primarily of teal blue with black edges separated by thin white stripes. In the center is a red stripe with thin white stripes separating it from the teal.[4][5][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Air Force Personnel Center - Awards and Decorations". Retrieved 2012-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Medal of Humane Action". Retrieved 2012-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Department of Defense (2013-10-31) [2010], Manual 1348.33 (PDF) (.PDF), 3, DoD Issuances website: DoD Publications, pp. 10, 69, retrieved 2014-06-07<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Factsheets : Medal for Humane Action". Retrieved 2012-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  6. United States Army Institute of Heraldry. "Medal for Humane Action". Pentagon. Retrieved 2014-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>