Medal was instituted on October 27, 1943 by the Royal decree of the king Mihai I No.2885. It was awarded to soldiers originating from Bessarabia and Bukovina who remained loyal to Romania during the Soviet occupation of these territories (July 1940 – June 1941) and volunteered to serve in ranks of Romanian Army after these territories were regained during WWII. Royal decree wasn’t gazetted until April 1944 and as a result first decorations started only in spring leaving just five months for the eligible military personnel to receive an award before the medal was prohibited.
Circular medal made of tombac was
Obverse contains an allegoric composition symbolizing reunification of Bessarabia and Bukovina with Romania. Woman at the right side being symbol of Romania points with her right hand at the scales of justice placed against the sun with diverging rays. Two volunteers from Bessarabia and Bukovina in steel helmets and armed with bayonet-fitted rifles are at the right lower part of an obverse. The date of reunification (“
Reverse shows two women in national costumes tied with shackles symbolizing occupation of Bessarabia and Bukovina by the USSR. Maps of these territories are placed at the both sides of composition and the date of annexation (“
The ribbon is blue with central
Medal “Soldiers of Bessarabia and Bukovina” was awarded until August 23, 1944 when Kingdom of Romania changed side and joined the Allies.
During Socialist medals and award documents were discarded by veterans and their relatives for fear of prosecution and reprisal by the Communist authorities.