✚10366✚ German post WW2 1957 pattern Luftwaffe Air Gunner Badge miniature pin


Original German Luftwaffe post WW2 / 1957 pattern Luftwaffe Air Gunner Badge miniature stickpin, IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, A REALLY GOOD PIECE, THE MINIATURE IS VERY RARELY SEEN, SIZE: cca 9 mm


In 1957 the West German government authorised replacement Iron Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Crosses of 1813, 1870, and 1914, which could be worn by World War II Iron Cross recipients. The 1957 law also authorised de-Nazified versions of most other World War II–era decorations (except those specifically associated with Nazi Party organizations, such as SS Long Service medals, or with the expansion of the German Reich, such as the medals for the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Memel region). The main government contract to manufacture and supply these new de-nazified WW2 1957 official decorations went to the world famous German firm Steinhauer & Lueck, Luedenscheid Germany. Knights Crosses, Iron Crosses , Wound Badges, Tank Assault Badges etc were re-designed by Steinhauer & Lück - often with the oak-leaf spray replacing the swastika, with S&L having the sole patent rights to all WW2 1957 German decorations. S&L did not have the whole monopoly on medal making, other famous firms such as Deschler & Sohn, BH Maher and Juncker also manufactured these new German decorations. Lüdenscheid is situated between the cities Dortmund and Bonn. It was here that one of the youngest medal firms was founded in 1889 by August Steinhauer and Gustav Adolf Lück. The first production began in a cellar, the customer base continued to increase. A property was bought at 51 Hochstrasse which is still home for this famous company today. During WW2 Steinhauer & Lück produced medals and badges, like the famous Knights Cross and many other types of medals and badges. In 1957 this company was awarded the contract to produce all the newly re-designed legal WW2 1957 de-nazified decorations, plus the contract to manufacture all of Germany's official decorations including Germany's highest order the Bundesverdienstkreuz. Only a very limited number of original WW2 1957 medals are still produced, mainly Iron Crosses, German Cross Gold & Silver & Wound Badges and are considered 100% genuine by the German Government.


Luftwaffe Air Gunner Badge - On June 22, 1942, the Air Gunner’s and Flight Engineer’s Badge was instituted. The badge was worn by all Luftwaffe air gunners, flight engineers, and aircrew meteorologists, who completed two months training or had participated in five operational flights. The badge could be awarded sooner if the recipient was wounded during an operational flight. Quality examples were initially made in Tombak, but most examples found will be constructed of zinc or kreigsmetal. The silver plated wreath is in the shape of an oval, with a slightly convex design. On the front of the badge, the wreath is covered half with oak leaves and the other half in laurel leaves. In the center of the wreath at the bottom is a swastika. Mounted in the center of the wreath is an eagle in flight, diving to the left. Most badges were produced with the eagle in the same metal as the wreath. While seldom encountered, some versions may have been constructed with an aluminum eagle on a zinc wreath. The eagle is darkened, finished in alt-silver, deep blued, or anodized black. The highlights of the wreath and the swastika are polished. Some examples exhibit a cut-out upper arm of the swastika. The top arm of the swastika was cutout early in the war and was generally left filled in as the war progressed. The eagle’s rear claw/talon should be clearly defined on originals. Many post-war fakes omitted this feature. The following is a partial list of makers and is not exhaustive: Assmann, B&NL, BSW, Deumer, Imme (JMME) and Juncker. The reverse of the badge incorporates an attaching device consisting of a hinge assembly, a vertical pin, and a catch. Many types and styles were utilized from manufacturer to manufacturer. Different assemblies can even be seen from a single manufacturing firm. The eagle is attached to the wreath by two rivets protruding through the wreath. On many examples, a manufacturers hallmark can be seen stamped into the rear of the eagle. While measurements vary from badge to badge, approximate characteristics are as follows: Wreath - Height - 53mm, Width- 40mm, Eagle Wingspan - 42mm, Weight - 30-40g. Cloth versions of this badge were made. Overall dimensions are similar to the metal version. Also, as the war neared an end, Radio Operator/ Air Gunner’s badges were often modified to an Air Gunner’s and Flight Engineer’s badge style by removing the lightning bolts (blitzbundel) with a file. The Air Gunner’s and Flight Engineer’s badge is generally identifiable by the distinct, separated, rear protruding talon of the eagle. A modified Radio Operator/ Air Gunner’s badge generally shows the talons tightly together. The Air Gunner’s and Flight Engineer’s Badge was awarded in a dark blue case. The interior had a blue satin upper lid lining, and blue flocking in the lower base. The two halves were hinged in the rear and secured by a spring tension pin/ catch device. Across the exterior lid was embossed Luftwaffen= Fliegerschutzen= Abzeichen, or Bordmechanikerabz, in silver lettering. The badge was to be worn on the recipient’s left side, on or near the pocket, and below the Iron Cross 1st Class. Each recipient of the Air Gunner’s and Flight Engineer’s Badge had an entry made in his Soldbuch. An additional Award Document was presented at a later date. Personnel who completed two months of training or participated in five operational flights were qualified to receive the Air Gunner & Flight Engineer Badge. If the recipient was wounded during an operational flight the badge could be awarded earlier.