Original German WW2 Air Sports Association (DLV) Gliding Proficiency Badge "B" Class (two gulls), IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, RARE BUTTONHOLE BADGE VERSION WITH A REMOVABLE RUBBER SLEEVE, NUMBERED: "55297", A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE, RARE BADGE, DIAMETER: 22 mm
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
German Air Sports Association (DLV) Gliding Proficiency Badge (Segelflugzeug Leistungsabzeichen). Constructed of bronze alloy with multi-coloured enamels, horizontal pinback or long pin device, measuring 21.5 mm in diameter. Gliding Proficiency Badge was awarded in the following grades: "A" Proficiency, "B" Proficiency, "C" Proficiency, Silver "C" Proficiency & Gold "C" Proficiency. There is a Gold version with diamonds from after WW2 when the construction and materials of the glider planes did change so it did become needed to make a higher grade of proficiency badge. All above named grades are indeed still awarded nowadays. The number of the gulls represents the grade, "A" is one gull, "B" is two gulls, etc.. The Silver and Gold grades have a wreath around the badge. The Gliding Proficiency Badge existed in cloth version too. The Deutscher Luftsport-Verband (DLV) or German Airsports Club was officially formed in early 1933, by bringing together all the private and public aeronautical clubs in Germany. There was a great deal of interest in aircraft at this time and the public imagination was caught by the well known and perhaps flamboyant nature of the well known World War One pilots. Herman Goering being a former highly decorated World War One fighter pilot was able to create a national organisation of enthusiasts, that masked the real idea of the scheme. The Treaty of Versailles prevented Germany from having an actual Airforce, therefore all aeronautical training was undertaken under the guise of the DLV and the later NSFK. Not only were individuals being trained in piloting gliders but also as aircraft pilots for the main civil airline Lufthansa. The NSFK or National Socialist Flying Corp took over from the DLV in 1937, and by this time the full extent of the paramilitary prepartiation for a large and well trained Airforce had materialised in the shape of the Luftwaffe. The NSFK was run on strict paramilitary lines, and was although voluntary could be seen as potentially exclusive. Most students were already members of the Hitler Youth, and by being taught the basics of aviation were able to undertake flights in gliders from the age of 14. After a number successful glider flights, the next stage was motorised flights that led easily to the start of formal Luftwaffe training.