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A rare combination of awards


James Clark
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I?ve recently been looking through the book La Legion Condor: Imagen in?ditas para su historia by Ra?l Arias Ramos (published by Agualarga Editores, S.L. Madrid, 2002. ISBN 84-95088-53-3). This book shows a very interesting pair of award documents from the collection of Jos? M. Campesino from Bilbao, who must have one of the most extensive collections of Legion Condor associated items in existence, judging by the pictures of documents, photographs and militaria from his collection.

The two documents that caught my eye are both named to Feldwebel Wilhelm Schweikert, identified in the text of the book as belonging to J/88 (Jagdgruppe 88).

The first document is his Vorl?ufiges Besitzzeugnis for the Spanienkreuz in Silber dated 31 May 1939. The fact that he evidently received the award without swords suggests that he was not a volunteer of the Legion Condor (who received the award with swords) but was a member of the German armed forces who served with the Legion Condor in Spain on an official posting. The figure generally quoted for awards in silver without swords is 327.

The second piece is even more unusual. It is a document of entitlement (?Berechtigungsschein?) for the Verwundeten-Abzeichen in Schwarz, awarded for the wound Schweikert suffered on 28 December 1938 as the result of being shot in the thigh. The award criteria stipulate that the wound must have resulted from enemy weapons (?feindliche Kampfmittel?). Again, this award was available to those who served in Spain in support of the Legion Condor as well as to actual members of the Legion Condor. The document was issued on 29 November 1939 to Schweikert as a member of I./Jagdgeschwader 77, 2. Staffel. The total generally quoted for this award is 182.

All in all, a pretty rare combination of awards. In fairness to the owner and the author I have not included scans of the documents in this thread ? I think the information is interesting enough in its own right. The format of both documents appears to be standard ? the preliminary documents for the Spanienkreuz are well represented in thread on this forum while the paper for the Verwundeten-Abzeichen matches the one shown in Detlev Niemann?s catalogue.

I did a quick internet search for Wilhelm Schweikert and found one final piece of information. The OKL Fighter Claims and Supplementary Claims from Lists from the Luftwaffe Campaign against the British Isles, 26 June 1940 ? 21 June 1941 (available at http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories/doc/v...of.britain.pdf) includes a claim by an Oberfeldwebel Wilhelm Schweikert of 1./JG 77 for shooting down a Spitfire over the English Channel or UK on 07 September 1940.

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