Product Description: This Gold Bomber Clasp with Pendant is a rare award that is missing from most collections. This is likely a later piece, with wreath and oak leaves made from fine zinc. As is often the case with zinc awards, most of the original finish has evaporated over time. The hardware retains the original gold finish, leaving no doubt as to the grade of this clasp. The winged bomb is a separate piece, riveted on. The bomb emblem retains nearly all of the original finish, with nice darkening. The pendant, too, still boasts nice original gilding. There are only slight traces of wear, and the obverse retains nice detail. The reverse of this piece is flat and smooth, and is unmarked. The hardware setup features a block hinge, tapering pin, and catch with catch plate. There is no damage, and no repairs. The attachment pin functions with no issues. The hooks for the pendant are still held in place with the original solder. This tough-to-find, high level original Gold Bomber Clasp with Pendant remains in excellent 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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