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We have been fortunate that this year a photo finally was discovered showing this rare Luftwaffe Badge being worn during the war...... A "hat's off" to Jacques and I will defer to him to post it if he wishes. This email arrived today showing a 1942 award document for this badge! I have no clue, real or not. How many of these has anyone ever actually seen????


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I never seen a document myself, but I think I 've another one somewhere in my files from Winkler(??). Fran?ois will answer himself but I don't think he already saw one.


Hi Jacques! Merci mille fois for sharing this photo with us. How many documents have you seen?? Where is the Frainch-type Fran?ois? How many has he seen??

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I've been away for a week with computer problems - nice thread to come back to!

I've never seen one of these docs in person but there is at least one in reference books (Forman's from memory). They are certainly rare - rarer than the badge and that's saying something!

I can add the following; from research done into LW qualification docs and their numbering systems (bottom left of each doc, pre mid-1944 or so - after which the numbering system ceased), the Flieger-Erinnerungsabzeichen had it's OWN UNIQUE numbering system. All other qualifications (Pilot, PO, Observer, R/O) except the LW Para Badge (also a separate numbering system) used a combined/mixed numbering system. The only other doc I have on record is dated 1 November 1943 and numbered 403/43. 43 = the year of the award & 403 = the total number of badges awarded - as far as I know, this number is from institution in 1936, not the number for the year to date.


Mike K

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To start with, maybe interesting to read:



Aircrew Documents - a Research Project

Some sense of the value of collecting / examining documents may be gained by exploring the outcomes of an informal research project conducted by members of the Wehrmacht Militaria Discussion Forum.

In December 2000, Chris Boonzaier (Germany) requested that collectors who owned or had access to Pilot Badge documents provide the numbers and date to be found thereon. Members enthusiastically responded by sending a range of data which enabled increasingly rich and valuable discussion. The scope of Chris's initial posting was significantly expanded when Francois Saez (France) provided details of a Flugzeug - Beobachter (Pilot-Observer) Badge document, asserting its relevance to the thread thus:

graduates of all categories of aircrew received documents from the RLM

(Reichs Air Ministry) which were sequentially numbered .... at any given time

this number represented the total number of graduates with an aircrew-related

qualification since the inception of these awards in 1935.

From this shared information it is clear that the number appearing on a document is not an indicator of the numbers of persons who had qualified for that particular badge up to that time, but that it represents the total of awards to all categories of aircrew.

Further data and discussion led to the observation that the certificates for the Retired Pilot Badge and the Paratroop Badge bore a different numbering system.

The date on the certificate is the date it was signed by the Chief of the Luftwaffe Personnel Department - this date may differ from the actual presentation or graduation day by up to 15 days.

From around mid-1944, certificates ceased to be issued from the RLM and became the responsibility of training units. These documents are not numbered and may show further variations in wording and lettering styles. One also sees the emergence of field-made and typed documents.

Forum contributor Mike Kenny (Australia) has generously compiled data from over ninety-five Luftwaffe documents into a spreadsheet (MS Excel format). This extremely valuable resource may be accessed by clicking on this link:


From this spreadsheet one can roughly estimate the number of Luftwaffe personnel who gained a qualification from 1935 to around mid-1944.

Take note of the number on the listed Flieger-Erinnerungsabzeichen (Retired Pilot Badge) document dated November 1943 .... number "403". This pointer to the rarity of a much discussed award may be invaluable to the vigilant Luftwaffe badge collector!


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Hi Fran?ois, Hi Mike, thanks for weighing in on this. Now that my interest is truly peaked, can anyone quantify a value for this document? The group has a clasp for bombers document, EK1, EK2 documents and a regimental insignia (??) award document!

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