Product Description: This is a very attractive and clean example of the desirable nickel silver JMME Pilots Badge – J2. The reverse of the eagle is clearly marked with the “JMME” maker logo. These badges were assembled by Juncker using Juncker parts, hardware and rivets, but were finished and marked JMME by the company who bought these badges from Juncker. The companies of “JMME” & “IMME” are still unknown, but they are thought to be the same company, or at least closely related. These badges put out by these two makers are unique in the fact they don’t follow the guidelines the Luftwaffe laid out for the pilot badge design. These JMME and IMME pilot badges have silver wreaths, not the darkened wreaths like all other makers have according to regulation. It is still unknown as to why this is. This example uses the second pattern Juncker design, known to collectors as the J2 design, probably introduced around 1939. The J2 design is characterized by a bold, thick wreath, and an eagle that is not as flat as that used on the J1 type. The overall look and condition of this JMME Pilots Badge – J2. is superb. Both the central eagle and swastika emblem, and the outer wreath, retain full original detail. The surfaces are exceptionally smooth, clean, and pristine, with eye-catching luster. The reverse of this badge is textbook for this desirable variant, with some very light toning in the recesses. The JMME hardware is intact and functional, and features a barrel hinge, and round wire pin and catch, with no damage or repairs to note. This choice, early badge is in a strong excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Pilot Badge was instituted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on August 12, 1935. It was among the earliest badges introduced in the German Wehrmacht and was worn by all qualified pilots in the German Air Force, similar to the “wings” worn by some other armies. The design of the badge featured a large, swooping eagle clutching the German national swastika emblem, surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel leaves. The badge was normally presented in a blue hinged case. It was worn on the upper left uniform pocket, and a cloth version was also authorized for field use. In the nearly ten years from the introduction of this badge, to the end of WWII, the manufacturers of these awards made many changes in the features of the designs. Some companies, like Juncker, Assmann, and Deumer, had early first pattern badges which looked completely different from later pieces by the same manufacturers. Pilot badges were made of aluminum, nickel silver, plated Tombak, and zinc. The eagle was always a separate piece, riveted to the wreath, with different manufacturers using different rivet designs. As the war progressed, and dies wore out, many makers produced badges with subtle changes. All of these changes, over time, opened up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.
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