Canadians and WW2 Medals

My Father in law has just had his fathers medals framed. His father (a Canadian citizen) served in Gander during WW2 and was awarded the Defence Medal and the War medal along with a Canadian medal (Gander was not part of Canada at the time) but was not awarded the 1939 - 1945 star. Is there any reason why he should not have been awarded this medal? I think he should have been and don't know why he wasn't. Any help or advise is greatly appriecated.
As far as I know, the criteria for the award of the 1939-45 Star was generally six months' service in an operational command, two months operational service for aircrew, and 180 days afloat in operational service for the Navy. There were other qualification criteria, which included immediate qualification if wounded, KIA, etc. Although slightly off-topic, an example of the latter, Colin Campbell Mitchell (Mad Mitch) of Aden fame commented that he was not awarded the 1939-45 Star for his service in Italy towards the end of the war, although he had been slightly wounded but did not report it. He added that it always irked him and that had he reported this minor wound (in the hand), he would have received the medal.

It could be that, although Gander was not then part of Canada, it was not deemed "operational", due to proximity, etc. I'm not an expert on such things, as WW1 is more my area. It could be worth contacting their version of the Army Medal Office to check it out.


Further to Deerhunter, Gander was not classed as operational service thus the award would have been Defence Medal for 3 years non-operational service, 1939-45 War medal for 28 days in service between 3/9/39-8/9/45 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal awarded for 18 months voluntary service in the Canadian forces between 3/9/39 and 1/3/47. This medal is in silver, as are the Canadian issues of the War Medal and Defence Medal. The Volunteer Service medal has 7 marching personnel on it and the ribbon has narrow green stripes flanking red and blue.

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