MEDAL OF FREEDOM - Bronze Palm - 1947
CITATION: Mr. Wilfrid Reid May, Canadian Civilian, performed meritorious services for the United States Army Air Forces from January 1942 to January 1946. Mr. May, serving in the capacity of Superintendent of the Air Observer’s School at Edmonton Municipal Airport and later as District Manager of Canadian Pacific Airlines, voluntarily loaned the personnel and the facilities of his school to assure the delivery of aircraft to the Aleutians and Alaska without delay. He conceived the idea of aerial rescue crews for rescue of flyers in the bush area, and after developing a trained parachute squad he furnished a rescue service indiscriminately to Americans and Canadians thus saving the lives of many of our fliers. In so do doing he fulfilled the highest traditions of the Dominion of Canada.
I have included the following information, as I could find little information on the web on this award.
The MEDAL OF FREEDOM was established July 6, 1945, amended by Executive Order on April 5, 1952, to be awarded to any person other than a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after December 6, 1941, performed a meritorious act or service which aided the United States or its allies in the prosecution of a war against an armed enemy or during any period of national emergency declared by the President or the Congress furthered the interests or security of the United States or its allies during such period when the award of any other United States military decoration was not deemed appropriate. Under special circumstances, without regard to the existence of a state or war or national emergency, the Medal of Freedom was awarded by or at the discretion of the President for performance of a meritorious act or service in the interest of the security of the United States. The Medal of Freedom was reestablished as the Presidential Medal of Freedom on February 22, 1963, and no awards of the Medal of Freedom after that date were authorized. The Medal of Freedom could be considered as a lower grade of the Legion of Merit, and when awarded to foreigners is divided into four degrees.
BADGE: Circular badge which has the profile of the top of the Statue of Freedom facing left, with the words: FREEDOM inscribed below. The reverse has the Liberty Bell in the center, surrounded by the inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
RIBBON: Red with four narrow white stripes toward the center.
1. Gold Palm, equivalent to the Legion of Merit, Chief Commander
2. Silver Palm, equivalent to the Legion of Merit, Commander
3. Bronze Palm, equivalent to the Legion of Merit, Officer and Legionnaire.
4. Without palm, equivalent to the Bronze Star Medal, When awarded to citizens of the United States, it was awarded without palm.
(with palm on ribbon)