Product Description: An early J1 Juncker Paratooper Badge in excellent condition. The badge features Juncker first pattern of paratrooper eagle and wreath made from a thinner planchet of metal. The eagle of this J1 badge also varies from the more commonly encountered later J2 style eagle from Juncker. The eagle is made of a gilded brass, which shows light wear to the obverse from wear. The reverse of the eagle is still nicely gilded and features the the familiar maker mark of Juncker. The badges wreath is made of a darkened nickle silver which shows slight wear to the high points from use. The rivets which secure the eaglets the badges wreath are textbook and clearly show the classic Juncker characteristics of cramming in place. A thin barrel hinge with round needle attached for a pin, and round wire catch are all securely in place with no repairs. It’s not often a J1 Paratooper Badge comes up for sale on the open market. Here is a chance to own one which is honest and untouched.
Historical Description: The German Fallshirmjager/Paratrooper Badge was first instituted on the 5th of November 1936 by order of Hermann Göring. It was originally awarded to Luftwaffe personnel after the completion of their training and the required six jumps. On September 1st 1937 the Heer (Army) version of the badge was instituted to recognize members of the Heer who had successfully qualified. However, by 1939 the Luftwaffe gained full control of all trained paratroopers and the small number of Heer Paratroopers were then absorbed into the ranks of the Luftwaffe.
The design of the badge features a diving eagle surrounded by a wreath. With this guideline in place, initially the Heer and Luftwaffe each had their own respective version of the Fallshirmjager Badge to call their own. The Luftwaffe’s version featured a gilded diving eagle clutching a swastika which was surrounded by a darkened wreath of laurel and oak leaves. *Please note that a specific maker exists which utilized a silvered wreath instead of the typical darkened wreath. The earliest examples of the Luftwaffe Fallshirmjager badge were made of superior metals such as brass and nickel silver. As the war progressed and the need to save precious metals became more a an obstacle aluminum and zinc were substituted as replacements. The Heer Fallshirmjager Badge design was a silvered diving eagle surrounded by a wreath of gilded oak leaves with a national “Hoheitszeichen” positioned at the top of the wreath. The first Heer Paratrooper Badges were constructed of delicate aluminum, whose hardware was very prone to breaking. Early deluxe versions of the badge can be found made of “800” silver, such examples are extremely rare. The only known maker of the early Heer Paratrooper Badges is C.E. Juncker. The Heer Paratrooper Badge was discontinued in 1939 after the absorption of the Heer Fallshirmjager into the Luftwaffe, However, the badge was reinstituted in 1943 for members of the Heer who previously qualified and also for members of the Waffen-SS who qualified. These later badges were manufactured strictly in zinc. The only known manufacturers of the later Heer Paratrooper Badge is the firms of C.E. Juncker and Friedrich Linden, Ludenscheid (FLL). Cloth versions of both types of paratrooper badges exist in various forms of embroidery and bullion.
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