Pilot Badge of the Luftwaffe made by OM

Hi Gents,

today we look at a Pilot Badge of the Luftwaffe. That’s not the first one I have in my blog. Sebastien Talbot did an article about the Imme Pilot badge on the February 2nd 2018.Estate of Beier

This time we focus on the pilot badge from a good collector friend who is also known expert on Luftwaffe Badges in the collector community.

Interesting fact is that after all the years of collecting and studying badges of the Luftwaffe we have no idea who really made this badge. There are lots of theory`s but no hard evidence to underline the makers company.

Pilot Badge OM Beier

You might have seen it; we talk about the marker OM. In this case the badge I like to introduce to you is from the estate of Oberleutnant Wilhelm Beier.

Wilhelm Beier was a Knights Cross holder who fought at the Night fighter front over England during World War II.

Beiers OM pilot Badge Backside

He achieved a total of 38 “night” victories and served with 3./NJG 2, 7./NJG 2, 9./NJG 2, 10./NJG 1 and 3./NJG. The tail of his Junker Ju 88 C-6 features 37 “Abschussbalken” which is a really high number. At the end of the War Beier retrained on the Me262.

 

Back to the Pilots Badge, here some historic information:

The pilot’s qualification badge was originally introduced on January 19th, 1935 for award to personnel of the DLV, “Deutscher Luftsportsverband Fliegerschaft”, (German Air Sports Association, Pilot Base), the secret forerunner of the Luftwaffe, who achieved their pilot’s license. The badge was officially adopted by the Luftwaffe on March 26th, 1936, by order of Hermann Göring. The pilot’s badge was awarded on an individual basis to personnel who had successfully completed the appropriate theory and flight training and had achieved their military pilot’s license. As with other flyer’s specialty badges a cloth version of the pilot’s badge was authorized for wear on the flight blouse with a machine embroidered pattern for EM/NCO’s and a hand embroidered pattern for Officers.

Oberleutnant Beier got his Pilot Badge in 1940 (you can see the date on the document) and as far as we know he has worn it until the end of the war. That’s the reason why it is in a “been there” condition. For him it was like a Talisman, that way he always came back from his front duty.

Strüning and Beier

Medals and Awards of Wilhelm Beier

Pilot Badge (OM)

Clasp for Fighter in Silver

Iron Cross 2nd Class 1939

Iron Cross 1st Class 1939

Ehrenpokal of the Luftwaffe

Knights Cross of the Iron Cross 1939

He received his Knights Cross after 14 Kills with his Ju 88 C-6 October 10th 1941. More about his combat plane will follow:

 

The Ju 88C was originally intended as a fighter-bomber and heavy fighter by adding fixed, forward-firing guns to the nose while retaining some bomb carrying ability of the A-series bomber. The C-series had a solid metal nose, typically housing one 20 mm MG FF cannon and three 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns. The aircraft retained the ventral Bola gondola under the crew compartment though individual units sometimes removed this to reduce weight and drag to enhance performance. The Ju-88C was later used as a night fighter, and this became its main role.

Tail Ju 88 Beier

The first version of the Ju 88C was the C-1 with 20 aircraft converted from A-1 airframes. Some of them entered service in the Zerstörerstaffel of KG 30 which became part of II./NJG 1 in July 1940. The C-1 was followed by the C-2 of which 20 aircraft were converted from A-5 airframes with enlarged wingspan. The C-4 became the first production version with 60 produced and 60 converted from A-5 airframes. The C-6, of which 900 aircraft were produced, was based on the A-4 airframe with more powerful engines and stronger defensive armament (single- or dual-mount belt-fed 7.92 mm MG 81 or 13 mm MG 131 instead of drum-fed MG 15 machine guns).

The C-6 as night fighter was typically equipped with FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC low-UHF band airborne intercept radar, using the complex 32-dipole Matratze antennas. The first four C-6 night fighters were tested in early 1942 by NJG 2. The trials were successful and the aircraft was ordered into production. In October 1943, many C-6s were upgraded with new radar systems. The first new radar equipment was the FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1. After the UHF-band Lichtenstein radars had been compromised to the Allies in the late spring of 1943, the next development in German AI radar was the VHF-band FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2, discarding the 32-dipole Matratze antennae for the much larger eight-dipole Hirschgeweih (stag’s antlers) aerials, required for the longer wavelength SN-2 system.

Newspaper KC Beier

Many Ju-88C’s had their Bola gondolas modified to hold up to two forward firing 20 mm cannon. Several C-6 night fighters were equipped with two „Schräge-Musik“ upward-firing 20mm cannon in trial fittings, and from mid 1943 onward, there was an official field modification kit available for this arrangement.

A small number of the C-series day fighters had their new solid-metal noses specially painted to resemble the bomber A-series‘ „beetle’s eye“ faceted clear view nose glazing, in an attempt to deceive Allied pilots into thinking the fighters were actually bombers; the unusual „camouflage“ attempt did result initially in a number of Allied aerial losses.

The Ju 88 is not a plane with lots of space for the crew, so we think that he one day in the plane hooked behind something and the catch broke of. They fixed it “in the field”. Not so nice like an expert would do it but it was good enough.

Beier in his Ju 88

The badge has the marker OM on the backside. Some collectors doubt the fact that these badges are original but in fact the picture from Beier with all his Medals made one thing clear. The Badge on his Flight Blouse is the OM Pilot Badge.

Some collectors think that the OM Marker stands Otto Meybauer who was the Brother of Paul Meybauer. Paul Meybauer badges are know and accepted in the collector community. But there is no hard evidence that Otto Meybauer made the OM Badges.

Maybe somebody will soon find out what the mystery behind that was.

Pilot Badge OM on Beiers Uniform

Sadly there is no chance to ask one of THE night fighter experts Tim Calvert, he passed away short time ago. So may he Rest in Peace, we will not forget him.

If you have additional information on OM Badges or pictures, Paperwork or anything related to that, please feel free to contact me and I will bring it on.

 

 

Thanks for reading, please help the blog to get more readers and more writers……Let the other collectors know what you can find here.

Take care

Best

Sascha

Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge made by Schwerin Berlin

Hi Collector friends,

my latest addition to my own little collection is a near mint auxiliary cruiser war badge made by Schwerin Berlin. So some of you are not so much into Kriegsmarine awards what I can understand. Famous are the known U-boat Aces and their badges, followed by the big Battleships and the High Sea Fleet badge and that’s about it.

Auxiliary War Cruiser Badge – my own collection

But a really interesting field is the story about all the auxiliary cruisers which raided the oceans worldwide during the second world war.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I think it was about 25 years ago, I was as a young collector with no money and sure without a big knowledge. Back that days it worked without the Internet to get your hands on medals and badges from World War 2. So what did we do?

We ran around every flea marked we had the chance to go to, we asked almost everybody we know about war badges in their family or if the old grandfather was as a soldier in World War 2.

Auxiliary War Cruiser Badge – my own collection backside

Sometimes you were lucky enough to get an Iron Cross or a Mother Cross from a friend`s house or even from your own relatives.

Funny thing was that almost everybody knew a Veteran living close by or next door.

That opened doors for good story’s and sometime for nice estates.

In that case my father told me about Mr. Körner. He was the local shoemaker and a retired civil worker of the German Bundeswehr. I found out, that he was a crew member of the Gorch Fock, the German Navy School Ship for Officers and before that, he was in the Kriegsmarine.

So I went to his house, rang the bell and as he opened the door I told him who I was and that I like to hear something about his Kriegsmarine time.

Took me three times at his door to make him understand who I was and what my intension were. Finally, he let me in and we had a little talk about his time on the Gorch Fock.

Interesting cruises and good time was what he told me. After 20 Minutes I asked about his time in the Kriegsmarine. Suddenly he was quiet and looked me deep in my eyes……. Then he told me to get up and we went in his little office in the back of his house.

Mr. Körners wall with HSK Atlantis and Aux. War Cruiser Badge

There were some pictures on the wall with ship crossing the ocean. One was the “Schulschiff Deutschland” of the German Navy and another one was “HSK Atlantis” ………

So I found a crew member of Bernhard Rogges Auxiliary cruiser who made the 622-day trip around the world.

He told me about his time on the Ship “Albert Leo Schlageter” and then his first day on board of Atlantis. All what happened there until he ended up explaining his transport back in an Italian submarine after they were sunk……..

 

Back in Germany he served on a Minesweeper and finally he evacuated lots of civilians from Kurland Kessel until the end of the war.

 

The best and also the last wartime Story was the cruise back home. His Minesweeper boat were somewhere in a Harbor (think it was Travemünde) far away from Kiel.  It was the 8th of May 1945 and the war was over. Most of his comrades and the officers left the minesweeper and headed home for their families.

He stayed on the boat and tried to figure out what to do. So he and some other navy soldiers (what was left of the Crew) took the boat all the way back to Kiel Harbor, stopped there and left the boat.

It was a 50 km march home to his wife and his daughter. He got close to his hometown (about 5 km left to go) as suddenly British troops stopped him.

They asked him who he was and where he wanted to go (he was still in Kriegsmarine Uniform). He told them all they wanted to know…. finally, they send him home with the promise to stay in his town for the next weeks until they come back.

So he did and weeks later he got his paperwork that he was official a non-war criminal no prisoner of war. He was a free man and lucky to survive the war.

Never heard that before, it is something different reading a book about Ship 16 (HSK 2) or talk to a man who experienced it all during that time.

 

After the war he worked as a civilian shoemaker on the German “Schulschiff Deutschland” and then on the “Gorch Fock” until he retired.

I went back three times for more information’s about his time on board. He showed me pictures and paperwork from his time and on the last day he presented his Auxiliary badge made by Schwerin Berlin. Back that days I did not know it better, but my friend Martin W. explained that the whole Atlantis Crew got their Badges together in Berlin and…..they all got Juncker Badges. So I never asked Mr. Körner but it seemed like he bought another one for his uniform and that piece survived the war.

 

I did not ask for it but he put it all on the table together with his Iron Cross 1st class and Iron Cross 2nd class, his minesweeper badge and his 1957 clasp. There I saw that he also got the Navy Front Clasp and the Kurland cuff title. He told me that if I want the badges I can have them………..

Mr. Körners medals and badges , pictures taken 20 years ago

What an honor that he wanted to give them to me. I told him that they will get a good place in my collection. While we were talking his wife came in, looked at us and asked what we are doing with the old Nazi badges. So he told her that he wanted to give me the badges for my collection.

You can imagine what happened next. She said the son in law was also a soldier on actice duty (not like me in the navy but in the army) and he asked for the badges years ago. So if somebody will get them, it will not be me.

I did not say anything and waited for the reaction of Mr. Körner. As you all know the real boss in your house is the “CIC Home fleet”, your wife…..and when she decides then she decides.

 

With little tears in my eyes I left Mr. Körner and headed home. Over the years I stopped by to see how he is and we talked about the old navy and the new navy.

In 2009 he had his 70 years wedding anniversary and shortly after that he died and I didn´t had the chance to participate at his funeral because I was far away from home with my ship.

 

All the years I tried to get an auxiliary cruiser badge made from Tombak by Schwerin Berlin with the marker on it……that was not easy.

High End Schwerin Berlin Tombak cased – picture from Militaria Scholz

If there was one, I did not have the money to buy it or the badge was in such a bad condition…. Sometimes you have to wait and wait and wait. I got some nice Juncker Auxiliary Badges for my collection and also Schwerin Berlin made badges, but always without marker on the backside.

Finally, with the help of Christian K. I got mine and the Schwerin Collection is now complete!

Here is some background on Auxiliary Cruisers and the Atlantis for you:

At the outbreak of war, the Kriegsmarine requisitioned a number of fast merchantmen and immediately sent them into naval shipyards to be converted into offensive auxiliary cruisers. These ships had at the time of building been fitted with extra strong decks specifically to facilitate the installation of military equipment when required, but this was the only difference between them and other merchantmen of the period. No precise plans had been drawn up for the conversion of these ships into warships, and consequently the conversion process was painfully long. Compared to the diversity of British auxiliary cruisers, the Hilfskreuzer were standardized insofar as possible. The ships themselves averaged approximately 7,000 long tons (7,100 t). Armament usually consisted of six 6 in guns, two to six torpedo tubes, and an assortment of 40 mm (1.57 in), 37 mm, and 20 mm (0.79 in) automatic weapons. Most of these merchant raiders carried an Arado Ar 196 floatplane for reconnaissance. Kormoran, Komet, and Michel were also equipped with small motor torpedo boats. In addition to armament, increased fuel, water, and coal storage had to be provided for as well. Furthermore, the raiders could not abandon the crews of their captures, so space had to be provided for prisoners. The first Hilfskreuzer got under way in March 1940, shortly before the Norwegian campaign. The Auxiliary Cruisers were credited with sinking roughly 800,000 tons of Allied shipping during the war. Of the eleven main Auxiliary Cruisers, six were sunk by enemy action, one burnt in Yokohama harbor, one was scuttled after battle damage, one was decommissioned and the remaining two were captured by the Allies at the end of the war.

Hilfskreuzer Atlantis – Auxiliary Cruiser Atlantis
  • Orion (HSK-1)
  • Atlantis (HSK-2)
  • Widder (HSK-3)
  • Thor (HSK-4)
  • Pinguin (HSK-5)
  • Stier (HSK-6)
  • Komet (HSK-7)
  • Kormoran (HSK-8)
  • Michel (HSK-9)
  • Coronel (HSK-10)
  • Hansa (HSK-11)

The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted German Hilfskreuzer (auxiliary cruiser), or merchant or commerce raider of the Kriegsmarine, which, in World War II, travelled more than 161,000 km (100,000 mi) in 602 days, and sank or captured 22 ships totaling 144,384 t (142,104 long tons). Atlantis was commanded by Kapitän zur See Bernhard Rogge, who received the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. She was sunk on 22 November 1941 by the British cruiser HMS Devonshire.

 

The Auxiliary Cruiser Badge or the Hilfskreuzer Badge is one of the nicest Kriegsmarine badges I know. Always a looker on not very often to find.

The Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge was instituted on April 24th 1941, by “Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral”, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder, for award to armed Merchant Marine personnel, to recognize their contribution in harassing and sinking Allied merchant ships… Of Note: Generally, the early production Auxiliary Cruiser War Badges had the separate likeness of the globe attached by a single rivet, while later war production versions were manufactured as a single piece.

Auxiliary Cruiser War Badges Tombak Schwerin – Martin W. Collection

The Badge normally is a two piece, die struck, tombak construction badge with fire gilt and nickel/silver plated finishes. The badge is in the form a gilt washed, vertically oval, embossed, oak-leaf wreath with a national eagle with big out-stretched wings, clutching a canted, swastika in its talons, superimposed to the top center, encompassing a cut-out, „Viking“ style, long boat with full sail, cruising on a separate likeness of a nickel/silver plated, northern portion of the globe. The detailing includes the dragon figurehead and oval shields on the ship, longitude and latitude lines and the embossed outline of Great Britain, Western Europe and North Africa on the globe. The separate globe is attached to the badge by a single, small, dome headed, rivet which is visible on the reverse. The reverse has a soldered, solid, block type hinge, a broad, tapering, vertical pin and a heavy, soldered, retaining catch all intact.

There 6 different versions from that Schwerin Badge. We are only looking at Tombak made Badges with Schwerin Berlin marked on the backside. Martin W. was so kind to help me out with backside pictures. Here you see the difference between 3 badges.

Different set up – List of Norm F.

 

But that’s not all, Norm F. made list of all known versions and here is the list.

1 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on left

2 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on right

3 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with dome-head hinge pin on right, hand-filed internal margins (without use of standardized trimming tool)

4 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with flat/waffle-head hinge pin on left

5 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with flat/waffle-head hinge pin on right

6 Tombak, aluminum globe, marked, flipped block hinge with headless hinge pin on left

If you have more questions about Auxiliary War Badges feel free to contact me. I gone try to answer the question or I will transport the question to my Kriegsmarine Collector Friends and Specialist for that kind of awards Martin, Norm and Hubert.

 

Thank you for reading, please help the blog to get more readers and more writers……Let the other collectors know what you can find here.

Take care

Best

Sascha

10 Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A and two T-26 model 1935/36

Today a nice photo from the time of the Spanish Civil War.

Recognizable here is a group of three tanks consisting of a Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A and two T-26 model 1935/36.

The vehicles obviously belong to a unit of the „Nationalists“ or to the so-called „Legion Condor“ („Panzerabteilung „Drohne” „).

The opposing „Nationalists“ and „Republicans“ was supported at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, among others, by countries such as Germany and Russia with arms.
At the beginning of October 1936, Germany delivered about 40 pieces Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A, and about 20 pieces of Ausf.B. (until 1938 a total of about 45 Ausf.A and 77 Ausf.B).

Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A and two T-26 model 1935 – 1936

Russia, on the other hand, initially supplied about 50 T-26s (totaling about 280 units by 1938) to the Republicans.

The relatively good firepower of the Soviet T-26 on the part of the „Republicans“ were predominantly opposite the Pz.Kpfw. I and L3/33 / L3/35 supplied by Germany and Italy to the „Nationalists“.

By the end of the war about 178 T-26s had been captured by the „Nationalists“, of which about 50 were supposed to have been used again.

The two in the picture behind the Pz.Kpfw.I recognizable T-26, are obviously such captured vehicles.
They already bear the common mark, the Spanish flag (red, yellow, red) on the cannon cover and on the turret roof recognizable by the opened door hatches, the black crosses mounted on a white background. These served as a detection signal for the own air force.

The visible in the foreground Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A carries the Spanish flag as a marker on the front plate to the right of the driver’s view hatch. In addition, here is a very nice emblem of the tank unit in white color recognizable. This emblem evidently consists of a crossed musket and crossbow and a vertical halberd.

Noteworthy on Pz.Kpfw. I is the heavily used and worn front wheel (rubber lining) of the track drive. This probably shows clearly that no new vehicles, but already used vehicles have been delivered to the „Nationalists“.

The pictured german soldiers of an infantry unit wear the usual for this time uniformation of the „Legion Condor“. The soldier at the turret of the middle T-26 wears uniforms usual for members of a tank unit, in particular recognizable by the black beret.

At present, no details can be given as to the exact unit and the time of the recording.
Whether this is a training unit or already a fighting unit is also not known to us.

Supplementary instructions and information are always welcome to us as well as in the photos shown above.

_____________________________________________________________________

Heute mal ein schönes Foto aus der Zeit des spanischen Bürgerkriegs.

Erkennbar ist hier eine Gruppe von drei Panzer bestehend aus einem Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A und zwei T-26 Modell 1935/36.

Die Fahrzeuge gehören offensichtlich zu einer Einheit der “Nationalisten” bzw. zur sogenannten “Legion Condor” (“Panzerabteilung “Drohne””).

Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A and two T-26 model 1935 – 1936

Die sich verfeindet gegenüber stehenden “Nationalisten” und “Republikaner” wurde zu Beginn des spanischen Bürgerkrieges unter anderem durch Länder wie Deutschland und Russland mit Waffenlieferungen unterstützt.
Deutschland lieferte hierbei zu Beginn im Oktober 1936 etwa 40 Stück Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A, und etwa 20 Stück der Ausf.B. (bis 1938 insgesamt etwa 45 Ausf.A und 77 Ausf.B).

Russland lieferte dagegen zu Beginn etwa 50 Stück T-26 (bis 1938 insgesamt etwa 280 Stück) an die “Republikaner”.

Der vergleichsweise guten Feuerkraft des sowjetischen T-26 auf Seiten der “Republikaner” standen überwiegend die von Deutschland und Italien an die “Nationalisten” gelieferten Pz.Kpfw. I und L3/33 / L3/35 gegenüber.

Es sollen bis Kriegsende etwa 178 T-26 durch die “Nationalisten” erbeutet worden sein, wovon etwa 50 Stück wieder verwendet worden sein sollen.

Die beiden im Bild hinter dem Pz.Kpfw.I erkennbaren T-26, sind offensichtlich solche erbeuteten Fahrzeuge.
Sie tragen bereits die gängige Markierung, der spanischen Flagge (rot, gelb, rot) an der Kanonenblende und auf dem Turmdach anhand der geöffneten Turmluken erkennbar, die auf weißem Untergrund angebrachten schwarzen Kreuze. Diese dienten als Erkennungssignal für die eigene Luftwaffe.

Der im Vordergrund sichtbare Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf.A trägt die spanische Flagge als Markierung an der Frontplatte rechts neben dem Fahrersichtluke. Zusätzlich ist hier noch sehr schön ein Emblem der Panzereinheit in weißer Farbe erkennbar. Dieses Emblem besteht offenbar aus einer sich kreuzenden Muskete und Armbrust und einer senkrechten Hellebarde.

Beachtlich am Pz.Kpfw. I ist das stark gebrauchte und verschlissene vordere Laufrad (Gummierung) des Kettenlaufwerkes. Dies zeigt vermutlich deutlich, das keine neuwertigen, sondern bereits gebrauchte Fahrzeuge an die Nationalisten geliefert worden zu sein scheinen.

Die im Bild erkennbaren deutschen Soldaten einer Infanterieeinheit tragen, die für diese Zeit übliche Uniformierung der “Legion Condor”. Der Soldat am Turm des mittleren T-26 trägt die für Angehörige einer Panzereinheit übliche Uniformierung, insbesondere erkennbar an dem schwarzen Barett.

Zur genauen Einheit und dem Zeitpunkt der Entstehung der Aufnahme können derzeit keine Angaben gemacht werden.
Ob es sich hierbei um eine Ausbildungseinheit oder bereits um eine kämpfende Einheit handelt ist uns ebenfalls nicht bekannt.

Ergänzende Hinweise und Angaben hierzu sind uns wie auch bei den zuvor gezeigten Fotos jederzeit sehr gern willkommen.

Text made by R.A.

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