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.
Combined Pilot & Observer Badge
Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen
Close up views of the block hinge and the makers mark.
The Flak Badge was authorized by the Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe and the Air ministry on January 10th, 1941. The badge design consists of a silvered wreath of Oak leaves, an 88 Flak gun centered inside the wreath, the barrel crossing over and extending beyond the wreath at the one o’clock position, and a Luftwaffe Eagle fixed at the top of the wreath, facing right, and clutching a swastika. This badge is a combat award, and was earned by achieving 16 points according to rules set forth by a point’s system.
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.
This Luftwaffe Flak Badge is an early war production struck in nickel silver.
This Observer Badge is in near mint condition, and retains almost 100% of the original finish. The presentation box (case) accompanies this badge.
These obverse and reverse images show a distinctly different look in comparison to Tombak and Zinc badges. Early war nickel silver badges are sought by most collectors, and command higher prices.
This C.E.Juncker (J-2) specimen is struck in Tombak, an alloy made from zinc and copper which makes a brass like metal.
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).
These side angle views show the beautiful detail Juncker created in the Eagle and Wreath.
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.
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.
Close up views of the barrel hinge and "C" catch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Close up views of the barrel hinge and "C" catch.
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 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 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.
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.
The photo to the left shows beautiful detail of the Eagle and wreath. The frame to the right shows the reverse of the Eagle. The maker mark is a text book JMME & SOHN, BERLIN. The owners name monogram, and home region is hand carved around the maker mark.
These photos show the shear mass of the J-2 Eagle. This badge measures 52.5mm X 66MM. The weight is 46 grams.
The wreath on this Air Gunner Badge retains 100% of the original silver finish. Most zinc badges lose their finish through time. This specimen was clearly taken care of.
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.
These reverse images show a flat wire brass catch and a ball hinge. The pin is also made of nickel silver.
JMME of Berlin is the maker of this badge. This early war specimen displays exquisite detail to the Eagle and wreath. Note the brass catch and barrel hinge.
On November 5th, 1936, the Minister of Aviation and Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, officially instituted the Fallshirmjäger Abzeichen, (Paratrooper Badge). Qualifying recipients had to pass rigorous physical, educational and psychological training.
The specimen pictured below is an early war badge with a wreath struck in nickel silver, and the Eagle struck in Tombac. The Luftwaffen Fallschirmjäger Abzeichen consists of a silvered or blackened wreath (depending on maker and time frame) with oak leaves to the right, and laurel leaves to the left. The bottom center of the wreath displays a ribbon. Fixed to the wreath is a downward swooping, gold gilded Eagle, clutching a swastika in the talons. This specimen is personalized by the recipient who scratched his name, “M.Hann” and the region of Germany (Sachsenhagen) he comes from onto the reverse of the Eagle.
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.
The block hinge and catch are made of brass.
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.
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.
Beautiful detail of the wreath and Eagle are shown here. The burnished Eagle and silvered wreath are struck in Nickel Silver. The weight is 42.4 grams.
Instituted on June 22nd, 1942 by the commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, the air gunner badge displays a blackened eagle swooping downward with open talons, and is mounted on a silvered wreath which consists of oak leaves on the right, and laurel leaves on the left. A swastika is centered at the bottom of the wreath.
Recipients for the Air Gunner badge were required to complete a qualification exam, and a minimum of five missions over enemy territory.
Early versions of this badge are struck in Tombac, but soon after were struck in zinc, and remained this way for the duration of the war. The radio operator/air gunner badge, (RO/AG) is identical to the air gunner badge with the exception that the RO/AG badge displays the eagle clutching lightning bolts in the talons. There are known examples of RO/AG badges that were converted to Air Gunner ( AG ) badges in the field by removing the lightning bolts from an RO/AG badge. Unfortunately, it is difficult to accurately determine if an RO/AG badge was converted to an AG badge during or post war. The specimen pictured below is a mid war zinc example struck without lightning bolts, and is produced by Berg & Nolte, Lüdenscheid.
Air Gunner Badge