Original German WWII Luftwaffe Gold Grade Front Flying Clasp for Night Fighters - Post War Assembled
Original Item: Only One Available. After the end of WWII, USGI's brought home a multitude of German WWII items, including all types of medals, awards, and other memorabilia. By the late 1940s, there was a booming collector's market for these items, and many dealers were making trips to Germany to bring back masses of militaria for the market. Additionally, during the immediate post ware period, many companies in Germany still had stocks of components for many of these items, and firms began assembling badges using these old stock parts, sometimes utilizing some replica components.
It wasn't until 1947 that the production of items with NSDAP insignia was banned, so for a few years in the late 1940s, there was a relatively large industry assembling badges and other items from original parts for servicemen to collect and take home.
This is an interesting post-war assembled German WWII Luftwaffe Front Flying Clasp in Gold Grade, as issued to Night Fighters (close range) who had flown 110 missions. Officially this version of the award is termed the Frontflugspange für Nahnachtjäger in Gelb in German. This example is in very nice condition, with some age-related oxidation, which is still nice an bright in some areas. There are traces of the gold wash on the front of the oak leaves, as well as in the holes for securing additional pennants. The central device is blackened, as is the wreath, correct for the night fighter award. It does show some light wear, and the rivet holding the "arrow" on is loose, so it can rotate back and forth as shown. The back clip is intact, and works beautifully, still retaining a lot of the gold wash. There is no marking on the back, standard for the post war assembled examples.
A nice post war assembled example of a hard to find military decoration, a great way to fill out your collection at an affordable price. Ready to display!
The Front Flying Clasp (Frontflugspange) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to aircrew and certain other Luftwaffe personnel in recognition of the number of operational flights flown. It was instituted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on 30 January 1941. It was awarded in Bronze, Silver, and Gold with an upgrade to include diamonds possible. Pennants suspended from the clasp indicated the number of missions obtained in a given type of aircraft. Front Flying Clasps were issued for missions completed in the following Luftwaffe aircraft:
- Day Fighters
- Night Fighters
- Long Range Night Fighters
- Heavy Fighters
- Air to Ground Support Fighters
- Transport and Glider
All badges are formed of a central device (usually blackened) encircled by a wreath of laurel leaves set between two stylized wings of oak leaves with a swas located at the base of the wreath. Clasps measure approximately 7.5 cm (3 in) by 2.5 cm (1 in). The various designs of the central device was determined from the type of aircraft flown. The clasp pennant was instituted as additional recognition for the increased number of operational missions/flights, which grew as the war continued.
Criteria for qualification:
Bronze - 20 flown missions
Silver - 60 flown missions
Gold - 110 flown missions
Pennant to the Gold Front Flying Clasp
Day Fighters and Transport Units: 500 missions
Air to Ground Support Fighters: 400 missions
Bombers, Air Sea Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance: 300 missions
Reconnaissance and Night Fighters: 250 missions
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