Product Description: This Gold Bomber Clasp with Pendant is an outstanding example of this variant. It is made of zinc, and still retains nice gold finish on both clasp and pendant. There is only minimal fading to the gold, and the intact finish boasts eye-catching shine. The winged bomb emblem at the center retains great finish as well, with very slight patina from age. The reverse of the clasp and pendant are flat and smooth. The bright gold tone of the extraordinary finish on the reverse of the clasp is particularly beautiful, with only a bit of the bubbling typically seen on these zinc awards. The back of the pendant has a more typical muted look. The clasp is maker marked “M. u. K. Gablonz” indicating manufacture by the firm of “Metall und Kunst.” The hardware is correct for this maker, with an interval cast hinge and crimped-in catch. The stamped fluted pin is functional. Overall, the condition of this Gold Bomber Clasp with Pendant rates as excellent.
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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