Base Metal: Zinc
Product Description: A Bronze Bomber Clasp by RSS. The Clasp is made out of a base metal of lighter colored zinc, which was then finished with a bronze finish. The bronze finish has faded slightly, with the recess areas being moire predominant than the high areas. The crimped hardware on this Luftwaffe Bronze Bomber Clasp is typical of this maker. A ball hinge, used to secure the attachment pin, is held in place with a circular crimped on the base of the clasp reverse. The catch is made of a thin brass sheet metal which is also crimped in place on the clasp’s reverse side. The pin is a solid fluted type and is also made of brass. The blackened winged-bomb is held on the front of the clasp with a large rivet on the center of the clasp’s reverse. All hardware is securely intact and the clasp has no repairs. All in all this is a nice Luftwaffe Bronze Bomber Clasp which is a fairly uncommon maker to find for Luftwaffe Flight Clasps.
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 Reconnaisance, 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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