Product Description: This Luftwaffe Pilots Badge is a top quality piece, in outstanding condition. This desirable early badge is made of nickel silver. The maker is F. W. Assmann & Söhne in Lüdenscheid, and this is the variant known to collectors as the A2/A3 type. The striking, impressive eagle and swastika retains nearly all of the original darkening, with very slight wear that exposes the gleam of the base metal at the high points. The wreath has a nice, even, mellow age patina. The reverse of this gorgeous Luftwaffe Pilots Badge is nice and clean. It’s maker marked behind the eagle with the stylized “A” mark of Assmann. The hardware setup is textbook for this maker, and is functional and unrepaired, with a barrel hinge, and round wire pin and catch. The rivets are correct and perfect. This badge displays exceptionally well. The condition rates as excellent plus.
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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