The texual information and certain photos are used with permission
Edward J. Emering (C)
His book "Orders, Decorations and Badges of the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam"
was used as a reference. It can be purchased from Amazon.com by
clicking the icon.
The Gold Star Order
simple medal, established on June 6, 1947, is the highest honor
conferred by the SRV on both individuals and units. It is equivalent
to the Hero of the Soviet Union medal, although it in no way matches
the quality or workmanship of its Soviet counterpart. During his
1965 interrogation, a PAVN colonel confirmed that this Order had
only been conferred once. It had also been awarded to Ho Chi Minh,
who had refused it until final victory was achieved. As of 1974,
only two of these Orders had been awarded. One to Ho Chi Minh
and the second to Vice President Ton Duc Thang, who received his
Gold Star Order from Ho Chi Minh in August, 1958. Ton Duc Thang
eventually succeeded Ho on his death. Although a total of 16 Gold
Stars have been awarded to date, the only positively known recipients
include: Ho Chi Minh, Ton duc Thang, Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksei
Kosugin, who both received their awards in June, 1980; and the
famous SRV military leader, Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap, who
has often been photographed in uniform, wearing only the Gold
It is also widely believed (but unconfirmed) that the Gold Star
order was also presented to PAVN General Tran BA Thanh, who served
as a ARVN officer on the South Vietnamese Prime Minister's staff
during the war and provided invaluable intelligence to Hanoi.
It is believed that he alone was responsible for the failed Son
Tay prison raid, which attempted to rescue captive U.S. military
The planchet itself is a raised, five-pointed,
solid gold star, measuring approximately 1 1/2" from point
to point. The back is decorated with a raised wreath of two laurel
branches. The medal is neither numbered nor named as might be
typical in other countries of the world for such a high honor.
The pin device is a simple bent wire.
The Order is worn on the left breast, centered above all other
Orders. There is no corresponding service ribbon. Counterfeits
have been observed, but the laurel leaves on the reverse were
by Edward J. Emering
Ho Chi Minh Order
This award was established on June 6, 1947 and
was revised to its current style on August 28th, 1981. Since its
revision, it is only issued in one class to both individuals and
units. This medal would appear to be equivalent to the Soviet
Order of Lenin, which was awarded in tandem with the Hero of the
Soviet Union medal. The criteria for this award makes specific
reference to the "revolutionary cause" of the people.
Below are links to photos and history of the Numerious
pins and badges that
the NVA and NLF have awarded. Follow the above medals series,
back and view the links below of the many badges and other awards
View a clickable chart of NVA and NLF badges
View the second clickable chart of NVA and
NLF badges and pins.
Read a history article on the development
of the NVA and NLF.