I am happy to announce that after four years of hard work and research, The German Luftwaffe Pilot and Combined Pilot and Observer of WWII 1933-1945 Volumes 1 and 2 are finally completed and will soon be printed. The book is schedule to be ready by January 30th. As soon as I have all the books in my hand, I will start shipping them to all of you.
This is the most comprehensive and detailed volumes yet written about the German Luftwaffe Pilot and Combined Pilot and Observer Badges of WW2. I made an exhaustive research to show every variants I could find. The result is a beautiful box set with two volumes and a total of 620 pages. All pictures are high quality and large enought to show every details that identify the original. Pilot badges are quite large and the book reflect this by beeing a larger size of 8×10 inches. It will fit perfectly beside your Paratrooper book and my next upcoming project; the ROAG and Observer books. This larger size books allows for bigger pictures as well as more room for descriptive text and you will absolutely love the results. The idea of making two volumes instead of a thicker book came after a long reflexion of what is more appropriate for you, the collectors.
The contents of each volumes are attached to provide you with what is included. Here are some details you will find in each volumes :
-Introduction of the Lufwaffe, Training in the Luftwaffe & Award Regulations,
-All Chapters begins with a full descriptive spreadsheet with all data,
-Each variants are cover with high quality pictures,
-A four page spread on each distinctive variants, The identical variants will only
show every differences (save space),
-Indepth study of all three Diamonds variants along with extra material,
-52 Award Cases from the most comon to the very rare unique examples
followed by all matching awards,
-The best Cloth and Bullions grouping ever attempted with indepth study back
up with several portraits in wear,
-Post War Souval and S&L,
-A grouping of the most comon and dangerous reproduction encountered in the hobby,
-Many pictures in wear,
-Both volumes are printed on quality paper and ALL come in a strong and rigid protective slip case.
Now that the volumes are officially ready for printing and will be available in a few weeks, I wanted to begin the pre-order sales. This 620 pages book will weight about 5 pounds, so to keep shipping at a minimal cost I have partnered up with Christian and Skip at Militaria-Berlin. For European collectors, Militaria Berlin will have 250 (50 signed) copies to start and you should purchase the book from them to save on shipping costs. If anyone want to pick it up at the SOS next February please let me know, I may have a limited quantity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Collector Friends, today I like to bring an article about the Imme Pilot Badge to you which was written by Mr. Sebastian Talbot who is a specialist in WW2 Luftwaffe Badges. Enjoy it.
Today I would like to present to you this J2 JMME pilot badge which holds much importance to me. When you collect, you tend to be drawn to a specific award for many reasons. This badge holds a special place in my collection since it was the very first one I acquired for my personal collection. Purchased from another collector and friend, Giel, more than a decade ago.
This badge dosen’t have anything rare or fancy, but represents a wide range of badges awarded during the mid war period. Made from Juncker wreath and eagle, this pilot badge was assembled by the JMME manufacture. The JMME signature in the hardware is the typical doomed nickel silver rivets and nickel silver C catch. The finish colour is particular to this maker with the nice goldish/greenish finish for both the wreath and eagle. Produced between 1939 to 1942, this badge was produced in a large number. Some rarer examples can be found with a darkened eagle and these were most likely darkened by Juncker firm.
The JMME pilot badge from this period came out with the presentation box with either early velvet or spray felt interior and paper hinge depending of the period distributed. The exterior can be either the two or three layers imprint on the cover.
Historical Facts about the Pilot Badge:
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. Of Note: Originally the cloth version of the pilot’s badge was only authorized for wear by Officers ranks until regulations of November 18th, 1937 extended the authorized wear of the cloth versions to EM/NCO’s. Further regulations of May 8th, 1942 discontinued production of the cloth versions although they continued to worn through-out the war.
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Copyright 2018 : Alle Rechte bei dem Verfasser Sebastien Talbot / All rights with the author Sebastien Talbot
Sit down and grab a coffee. This time I have something for you what I haven´t seen in 25 years of collecting. A real stunner, so I hope you sit by now.
For some collectors this badge is the “Fliegerschaftsabzeichen” , for others it is the Pilot Badge with the funny wreath or the Air Crew Badge. But like Dietrich März wrote on the WAF, it is the Pilot and Observer Badge 1. Form “…..documented in the LVBl as „Gemeinsames Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen“, founded on 19 January 1935 Form“.
Sure there were few of these “holy grails” in auctions around the world or old sales catalog, but not in the content of a whole estate of a Luftwaffe Pilot.
Well, now you think about the “second” form…..mmmhhh have I seen that one before? Sure you have , think about the Pilot Badge with the golden wreath, that’s the second form but the term “second form” got lost……somehow.
OK, back to business, to get the term right we talk about the “Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen 1. Form“.
But we want to have a close look on this bird over here. You see the badge with the large Eagle on it, looks like an attacking bird, in his fangs the swastika as always with Luftwaffen badges. The wreath in this case is not “egg shaped” vertical like the Pilot Badge 2nd Form, it is oval and in my opinion very big.
The Wreath is about 60,48 mm x 41,55 mmm. The weight is about 27,2 gramm. The pin is a round pin and about 48,8 mm long. On the backside you see a soldered round wire catch and a tube hinge, also soldered to the wreath in vertical manner. The 3 !!! rivets are like Juncker rivets used to be and they surly hold this big bird in place. The marker mark says “CEJ” on the backside of the bird, for most collectors THE company to collect Luftwaffen badges from.
Another nice feature is the blue case without any writing on it. Also a tough one to get but in this estate the badge came with it and so we have a nice combination.
Short excourse to the life of the pilot:
The man who archieved this badge was Hauptmann Günther Klünder, born on the 4th of August 1904. He served on Board of several ships of the Reichsmarine from 1927 – 1932. To name just a few of them : “Berlin” (light cruiser WW1), “Schlesien” (Battleship WW1), as well as the Torpedoboot “Albatros”.
Later on his career brought him to the “Seeübungsstaffel” (October 1933 – October 1934) and the “Erprobungsstelle Travemünde”
In 1937 he was Staffelkapitän with the Aufklärungsgruppe See 88 (A.S. 88) in the Legion Condor from February 1937 until July 1937, equipped with He-59 seaplanes.
On September 5th, 1939 – at the age of 32, he was shot down with a Junckers Ju 52 – D – AGZG by friendly fire (navy flak).
Let`s have look in the Soldbuch of the soldier. Here we found the entry for the badge with the number 1414 / 35 as you can see on the picture below.
Together with the Pilot Badge there were different badges in his estate.
Italian military pilot badge
Medaille de la campana
Wehrmacht Dienstauszeichnung 4. Klasse
Deutsches Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern
Cruz de guerra
Officerscross Crown of Italy
We can also have a look on the historical background of the badge:
The combined pilot’s/observer’s qualification badge was originally introduced by Hermann Göring on January 19th, 1935, and featured a horizontally oval wreath encompassing a stylized national eagle in flight. On March 26th, 1935 the badge was redesigned (after 205 days) by altering the wreath to the vertical position as with the other Luftwaffe qualification badges. The badge was intended for award to personnel who had qualified for both the military pilot’s and the observer’s badges and had held at least one of the awards for a minimum of one year. This second pattern badge took the same form as the pilot’s badge, but with a golden wreath.
Just to get it all together, in the summer of 1935 Hermann Göring established the combined pilot’s/observer’s badge with diamonds which was the highest Luftwaffe non-combatant award of WWII. It is estimated that roughly forty of the diamond badges were awarded.
We will never know why Hauptmann Klünder kept the first form and did not get the second form….or maybe had the second form on his uniform and it was lost when he shot down by friendly fire….
Finally said that the is one on the best estates I have seen in years and I like to quote Mr. Dennis Suitner, the Boss of Trave-Militaria: THE HOLY GRAIL OF THE LUFTWAFFE. A big thanks in that direction to the Team of Trave-Militaria, who supported me with all the pictures and data to bring this topic in my blog.