Original Imperial German WWI Prussian Luftstreitkräfte Air Forces Pilot’s Badge - Flugzeugführerabzeichen

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Flugzeugführerabzeichen (Pilot’s Badge) is a badge from the Kingdom of Prussia instituted on 27 January 1913 by the King of Prussia and the Emperor of the German Empire Wilhelm II in conjunction with his birthday.

The badge was awarded to officers, NCOs and enlisted men upon successful graduation from the flying schools and passing two practical flight examinations (that consisted of unassisted takeoff and landing as well as long-distance or a cross-country flight). The badges were presented by local air station commanders.

At some point during the war, and because stamped metal badges became scarce, it’s believed only certificates were issued and aircrew were required to purchase their own badges. While issued badges are thinly stamped and silvered (or silver-washed, an economical alternative) metal like this one, privately purchased examples can be found in hollow two-piece construction or single massive silver stampings.

The badge measures 46.00 mm (width) by 70.60 mm (height), weighs 13.5 grams and is struck in silvered brass. In all of the Imperial German Army flight qualification badges, the outside perimeter is surrounded by a wreath. The left side has laurel leaves symbolizing victory, while the right side has oak leaves signifying strength and hardiness. The bow joining them together at the bottom signifies the joining of these two qualities.

The top of the badge mounts either a Preußen (Prussian) crown or a Bayern (Bavaria) crown. These badges were manufactured by C.E. Juncker (Berlin), Meybauer or Pollath and worn on or below the left breast pocket lower than the Prussian Iron Cross 1st Class.

The obverse bears a standard pilot’s badge motive within a wreath, with laurel leaves towards the left side of the wreath, and oak leaves towards the right side of the wreath, separated by a bow on the bottom of the wreath, ordained by the Prussian crown at the top.

The reverse is hallowed and has a vertical needle pinback with a barrel hinge and a round wire catch.

Much of the silver wash is still present on both the front and reverse sides. The pin and catch are both still functional and without extensive damage. There are 2 small holes on the edge of both sides of the wreath and appear to be period done. The holes were probably an extra measure taken to better secure the badge to the uniform. We have not been able to find another example with holes in it like this one, making this a case by case modification done by the pilots, adding a lovely and unique touch.

These original issued badges are becoming increasingly difficult to find anymore. You do not want to miss your opportunity to add this to your collection! Comes more than ready for display.

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