This is a text book example of an original C.E.Juncker Radio Operator/Air Gunner Badge. The Eagles reverse retains it's burnishing. The obverse was originally the same, but war time use has removed most of the finish.
The Radio Operator/Air Gunner badge was officially instituted on March 26th, 1936 by Minister of Aviation & Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring. The badge design consisted of a Silvered wreath of Oak leaves on the right, Laurel leaves on the left, and a swastika at the bottom. Fixed to the wreath is a burnished diving Eagle clutching a pair of lightning bolts . In order to qualify as Radio Operator/Air Gunner, recipients were tested, and required to deploy on no less than five missions flown over an enemy territory.
The back of this unmarked badge revels not only the maker, but the owner as well. In the first frame the nipple shaped brass rivets identify Assmann as the maker . The second frame shows the owners name "Klaiber". Researching Pilot records, two Klaiber's are recorded. Otto Klaiber, and Armin Klaiber. Both flew BF110's. Otto also flew a JU88, but was killed in action on Aug 15th, 1944. Armin survived the war, achieved 10 victories, and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st & 2nd class. Both pilot's also received the Night Fighter Operational clasp. Which Klaiber owned this badge is anyone's guess, but in my opinion, narrowing it down to two individuals is significant.
Left and right views showing highly skilled workmanship used in making this badge.
This Observer Badge is in near mint condition, and retains almost 100% of the original finish. The presentation box (case) accompanies this badge.
These photos show the shear mass of the J-2 Eagle. This badge measures 52.5mm X 66MM. The weight is 46 grams.
The reverse of original Juncker badges have known features. Barrel hinge mounts, rivets and "C" catch are brass. The domed rivets have flattened tops caused by the pressure applied to set them. The back mark displays the lazy "L" in Berlin.
The model-2 combined Pilot & Observer badge was officially instituted on January 19th, 1935 by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and replaced the model-1 Air Crew badge which existed since 1933. The badge design consisted of a Gold gilded wreath with Oak leaves on the right, and Laurel leaves on the left. Fixed to the wreath is a silvered Eagle clutching a swastika. A recipient was required to maintain a Pilot or Observer qualification for no less than one year.
Detail of the barrel hinge and "C" catch. Notice the file marks on the inner and outer edges of the wreath created from hand finishing.
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The first photo shows close up details of the eagles head, breast and talons. The second photo shows detail of hand finishing of the wing tip.
This C.E.Juncker (J-2) specimen is struck in Tombak, an alloy made from zinc and copper which makes a brass like metal.
This is an early Pilot badge struck in Tombak. The detail of the Wreath and Eagle are excellent, but heavy use and patenation from age has removed most of the original finish.
Radio Operator/Air Gunner Badge
These photos show the 3 dimensional effect C.E.Juncker Badges display. Juncker is considered to have produced the finest badges, and usually command higher prices to collectors.
This close up of the C.E.Juncker back mark is a text book example of an original. The lazy "L" is clear in this photo, notice that it leans to the left. Also important to note is the letter "E" in Juncker and Berlin. A very light double strike can be seen on this specimen, and file marks show hand finishing to the Eagles edges.
An Assmann backmark is clearly visible on the back of the Eagle. Important to note are the brass nipple shaped rivets and brass hinge hardware. These are key attributes in identifying original Assmann badges.
Combined Pilot & Observer Badge
Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen
The Juncker back mark on this RO/AG badge is excellent compared to others. Important to notice is the lazy "L" in Berlin, and the "E"s. Fake badges show clear perfect letters, a dead give a way to the trained eye.
The Pilot badge was officially instituted on August 12th, 1935 by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. This badge is identical to the Pilot & Observer badge with the exception that the design consisted of a Silvered (instead of gold) wreath of Oak leaves on the right, and Laurel leaves on the left. Fixed to the wreath is a burnished (instead of silver) Eagle clutching a swastika. A recipient was required to maintain a Pilot’s license while serving in the military.
Normal war time use has worn the silver finish from the hinge, rivets and catch revealing the hardware as brass. This is important to see when identifying original badges.
These side angle close ups show the superior workmanship C.E.Juncker is so well known for. Struck in tombak, this badge weighs 37.6 grams.
The Observer badge was officially instituted on March 26th, 1936 by Minister of Aviation & Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring. The badge design consisted of a Silvered wreath of Oak leaves on the right, and Laurel leaves on the left. Fixed to the wreath is a burnished Eagle clutching a swastika. In order to qualify as Observer, recipients were tested, and required to deploy on no less than five missions flown over an enemy territory.
Incredible detail of the Assmann Observer badge eagle. Remaining in the presentation case for 70 + years has saved this badge from the destructive elements of time, and has given us the chance to see this piece as it looked on presentation day.
Close up views of the barrel hinge and "C" catch.
These side angle views show the beautiful detail Juncker created in the Eagle and Wreath.
Beautiful detail of the wreath and Eagle are shown here. The burnished Eagle is struck in nickel silver, and the silvered wreath is struck in Tombak. The weight is 42.4 grams.
The first frame shows the badge cased. The second frame shows the outer lid of the case with the title "Luftwaffen Beobachter Abzeitchen". (Luftwaffe Observer Badge).