Thursday 15 December 2016

Luftwaffe Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge.

Instituted on. 27 November 1935
Rarity – Scarce
Known Makers.

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge  - Segmented Swastika - Obverse. 

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge  - Solid Swastika - Obverse.

On the 27th November 1935 the regulations for this badge were published as an oval metal badge, which was to be slightly convex, and which was silver plated, and comprised the right half of laurel leaves and the left of oak leaves.  In the centre of the wreath, at the bottom, was a Swastika. 

At this stage, it is interesting to note and to point out, that there are three distinct designs and is marked by changes in the Swastika.  The early, or first version, which we could nominate as type "a" has a fully segmented Swastika.  The second, which can be nominated "b" a semi segmented Swastika, and the last version to be nominated "c" being a totally unsegmented Swastika.  These three types hold true for all the badges, which were of this wreath design.

In the centre of the wreath is an eagle in flight, clutching in its claws a pair of arrow headed bolts of lightning.  The eagle is flying from right to left of the badge, in a downward direction.  The projecting areas of the badge are highly polished and the reverse is flat, with a vertical pin the eagle being held on to the wreath by two rivets, one coming from each wing tip.  Again, the changes through a, b and c change with the period of construction.  The badge initially was found in nickel silver, or aluminium and later in monkey or pot metal.  A cloth version of the badge was instituted for officers in silver bullion and for N.C.O.'s in cotton thread in colours to correspond to those found in the metal badge.

To qualify for this badge the recipient had to have successfully completed two months training, or to have participated in one of the positions in a minimum of five operational flights.  The badge could be awarded sooner should the recipient have been wounded on an operational flight. 

Again this badge was first introduced on the 26th March 1936, and was awarded with a Citation and a flying book.  The badge was presented in a blue box with a blue silk lining, and blue velvet base while the badge's identification was stencilled in silver block letters on the lid.

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge - Cloth Bullion - Obverse.

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge - Cloth  - Obverse.

Radio Operator and Air Gunners Badge - Cloth Tan Backing - Obverse.

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