Product Description: This cloth Radio Operator Badge is a gorgeous piece, of high quality. The badge is machine embroidered in silver gray thread, on a backing of typical wartime Luftwaffe blue wool fabric. The embroidery is nicely detailed, and appears to be virtually perfect. The edge of the wool backing conforms to the outline of the badge, which is how these were made. There are no moth holes or other damage, and only very slight age toning. The reverse of this cloth Radio Operator Badge retains all of the correct original black backing paper. There is padding between the backing and paper and the embroidered badge, giving this an attractive three dimensional look. Some minor stitch holes visible in the backing paper along the top edge of the badge suggest that at some point this began to be applied to a uniform, though this was never completed. This is a beautiful example of a desirable and rather scarce badge, that remains in a strong excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Radio Operators Badge (Bordfunkerabzeichen) was instituted by the head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, in 1935. It featured a German eagle clutching two lightning bolts, surrounded by a wreath with the German swastika at the bottom. The badge was awarded to all Luftwaffe radio operators at the conclusion of their training, upon issue of a certificate from a flight school authorizing them to serve as radio operators. In this sense, it was a trade badge of trained radio operators, rather than being an individual award for military achievement, though it could also be issued prior to the conclusion of training by personnel who flew operational missions. With the annexation of Austria, the Luftwaffe Radio Operators Badge was also issued to Austrian radio operators taken into the German armed forces.
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