These distinguished insignia badges for War Actions were issued in three grades, gold, silver and bronze. They were awarded for merit and experience in an individual specialty. They were first listed in the 1942 regulations stating:
"The Duce (Benito Mussolini) has institued for all air crew member a special badge in the form of a wreath with the Royal Crown on the top and the Savoy Love Knot at the bottom junction. Applied in the center is the special device which will come in 3 classes, and which will identify the classification of the airman in the War Actions he has participated.
The center device symbol will be in 3 grades - 1st grade is bronze, 2nd grade is silver and third grade is gold. This will be worn on whatever type of uniform of the day the airman is wearing. It will be worn on the left side of the tunic, in the center of the breast pocket. This will be worn at all times while the airman is on permanent duty and until the end of his term of active duty.
Final Notations for Personnel - For all specialties except Hunters and Interceptors, the actions are considered effective when actual air combat is verified with adversary aircraft. If during the actual combat engagement, and the enemy aircraft is shot down, the actions will be doubled for the actual attempt and tripled for the final fulfillment or the destruction of the downed aircraft.
For the Hunters, the flight take off upon alarm must be confirmed by confirmed presence of the enemy aircraft and for the Interceptors, ballistic contact will be computed and considred as two flights due to alarm."
The grade requirements for this particular badge were:
Bronze - 8 flights of air rescue or 2 descent from aircraft for rescue from lifeboat, life belt, etc.
Silver - 40 flights of air rescue or 10 descent from aircraft for rescue from lifeboat, life belt, etc.
Gold - 60 flights of air rescue or 20 descent from aircraft for rescue from lifeboat, life belt, etc.
All information courtesy of Rudy D'Angelo