Product Description: This early cased Early Cased Bomber Clasp in Silver by Paul Meybauer is a choice piece. The gorgeous clasp is made of a brass alloy (Tombak), a top-quality material associated with early production. The beautiful original silver finish on the wreath and oak leaves is nearly perfect. The central winged bomb emblem also boasts wonderful original finish. The reverse of this clasp also retains all of the lovely finish, and is flat, and marked to the firm of Paul Meybauer in Berlin. The rivet is nice and tight, the banjo pin is functional, and there are no repairs. This exquisite clasp is housed in a nice, early style case of issue. The blue leatherette covering on the case is intact, with some light wear and scuffs. The German designation of this badge, “Frontflugspange für Kampfflieger in Filber,” is embossed in gold leaf on the top, showing some wear. The push button and hinge show normal age patina and remain functional. Inside, the white rayon lining inside the lid shows signs of where it was pressed against the badge over the years. The white flocked insert is pristine and showcases the clasp beautifully. This early cased Early Cased Bomber Clasp in Silver is a gem, in outstanding condition.
Historical Description: To acknowledge and recognize the achievements of Luftwaffe flight personnel who had taken part in missions against the enemy, the Luftwaffe in 1941 introduced a series of flight clasps, to be worn as awards on the uniform. The German term for this clasp was “Frontflugspange,” literally “Front Flight Clasp”; these are known to collectors as Flight Bars, Operational Flying Clasps or Squadron Clasps. The clasps took the form of a central emblem, set in a wreath of laurel leaves, and flanked on both sides by sprigs of oak leaves. On most designs, the German national swastika emblem was set at the bottom of the laurel wreath. The central emblem varied depending on the type of missions for which the clasp was awarded. An upward-pointed winged arrow was for Short Range Day Fighters, while a downward pointing winged arrow was for Long Range Day Fighters and Air to Ground Support (support crews later had their own crossed swords emblem). Bomber crews had a winged bomb emblem, a Luftwaffe eagle was chosen to represent Transport and Glider Squadrons, and an eagle head was worn by Reconnaissance, Air-Sea Rescue and Meteorological Squadrons. The clasps were produced in various grades to indicate the number of missions flown- Bronze for 20 flights, Silver for 60 flights and Gold for 100 flights. For personnel who surpassed the number of missions required for the Gold clasp, small pendants were produced, starting in 1942, to recognize the greater and greater numbers of missions being flown. There was a “star” pendant, that was given for certain numbers of flights beyond 100 missions (depending on the type of clasp, between 250 and 500 missions were required to earn the star). There were also numbered pendants, beginning with 200 missions, and increasing in increments of 100. As with all Third Reich military awards, Luftwaffe flight clasps are highly sought-after collectibles today.
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