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I picked up this 4-place medal bar as a last minute purchase just a few minutes before leaving the show at Gunzenhausen. It was a nice looking bar but nothing spectacular - at least until I thought about it more. The Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Crown and Swords was typically awarded to captains, although a number of awards were made to more junior officers who already had the 4th Class without Crown. The W?rttemberg Friedrich Order Knight 2nd Class with Swords was typically awarded to lieutenants. The lack of a Bavarian Army jubilee medal also pointed toward someone commissioned after early 1911.

In looking through the various lists of BM4XmKr's and WF3bX's to Bavarians, I only found one match. There might be others because I'm not sure how complete the WF3bX to Bavarians list is, but for now I have just the one guy as a tentative match: Leutnant der Reserve Heinrich Fichtbauer. He doesn't show up in the Bavarian 1914 rank list because he was apparently commissioned after the war started (and so no jubilee as well). He received the BM4XmKr on 15 November 1917 and the WF3bX on 31 December 1917.

Googling the name, I found that there was a Lt.d.R. Heinrich Fichtbauer, originally of the 19th Bavarian Infantry Regiment, who was severely injured in a plane crash (which killed his observer) on 28 May 1918. He was then serving with the Bavarian Fliegerabteilung (A) 286 b.

So it seems like a good possibility that this last minute impulse buy might be an aviator's bar.

Feel free to rain on my parade if there are any other candidates or if there is reason to rule out Fichtbauer (e.g. if he died by 1934 and couldn't have had an FKE or if he also received other states' awards). :cheers:

Edited by Dave Danner
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Feel free to rain on my parade if there are any other candidates or if there is reason to rule out Fichtbauer (e.g. if he died by 1934 and couldn't have had an FKE or if he also received other states' awards).

Raining on my own parade, I think Fichtbauer might have gotten a Royal Hohenzollern House Order, which would rule him out.

There might be a silver lining behind those clouds, though. The only other candidate I can find that fits is Ernst Ritter von M?ller (BMV4XmKr on 5.3.17, WF3bX on 22.1.16). But that assumes that he wore his Military Order of Max Joseph on the buttonhole, rather than on the medal bar.

More digging is necessary to rule him in or out, or to see if there is another candidate.

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