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KM/Luftwaffe: Observer Badge in wear...

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All Kriegsmarine airborne units came under the command of the Luftwaffe, all aircraft being manned by Luftwaffe aircrew with the exception of a number of Observers from theKriegsmarine who were placed on temporary secondment with the Luftwaffe for a four year period for training/active duties.

This new acquisition shows one of the Kriegsmarine Observers wearing his Observer badge which can be made out to be, thankfully to the clarity of the photograph, a 1st pattern by C.E Juncker - Berlin

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Cracking photo John,with excellent detail.

Some of the Kriegsmarine Observers were eligible for the Recon Clasp also.

Here is a photo i have of the clasp in wear on the KM uniform.

Also, another photo that is not mine but was taken at the same time that shows his Observer badge in wear.


Edited by Martin W
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Morning, Martin

Back at you...great, and very interesting, photo you have there.

Seeing that he's wearing his full parade bar showing the Bulgarian "Order for Military Merit" (2nd Class) and the Romanian medal for the "Crusade against Communism" is an indicator of where most of his war took place....if fact, I have a list of Kriegsmarine associated airborne units and with a bit of research it shouldn't be too difficult finding out which unit he was in.... I take that it would be to much to ask that there was a name on the back of the photo?

A couple more Observers posted by Gordon from the archives:

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Morning, Paul

An interesting question. I've never seen any photographic evidence of Heer personnel wearing Luftwaffe qualification badges as all support aircraft, for the army, were supplied by the Luftwaffe and manned by Luftwaffe trained aircrew, but Im sure that there must have been individuals who having qualified as aircrew transferred to the army at a later stage.

The only Luftwaffe qualified non-Luftwaffe unit that I can think of was Fliegergeschwader z.b.V. 7 which was part of the Polizeifliegerabteilung of the Ordnungspolizei coming under the command of the SS, and although the aircraft were manned by members of the Police, for administrative and pay purposes they belonged to the Luftwaffe.

Of course, there were individuals in other branches of the Wehrmacht/SS who held Luftwaffe qualification badges, as with the Kriegsmarine Observers, and they were members of the SS such as

Some of the more famous (or infamous) characters:

Reinhard Heydrich: flew with JG. 1

Friedrich Ludwig Herbert Alpers: flew as an Observer with Fernaufklärungsgruppe 22

Seen here is Hans Baur (Hitler's Pilot and head of Fliegerstaffel des Führers) holder of the Luftwaffe Pilots badge.

Note the Luftwaffe Pilot's badge on the SS officer in the background.

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This might be of interest too John.

This is the "awards" page from a postwar Wehpass i have that belonged to Gerhard Haelbich.

Haelbich was a Flt.Officer on the 1st cruise of the Hilfskreuzer Thor.

We can see that he was awarded his Observer badge on 5-12-39.

He received his Hilfskreuzer award for sevice on the Thor (Schiff 10) on 26-6-41.

He later went on to receive the Aufklarer Clasp in gold on 1-3-42.,with Gruppe 406.


Edited by Martin W
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  • 1 month later...

Great photo John.

Now here are a couple of photo's of Reinhard Hardegen,Commander of the U-123,who also wears the LW Observer badge.

I think that many these KM fliers were part of the Naval Air Arm formed in the late 1930's,Luftkries IV,later renamed Luftwaffenkomando See.

Hardegen was a part of this group.

Dispanded in 1939 when Goring decalared that "Everything that flies belongs to me".Naval aviation was no more and Hardegan went on to the U-Bootwaffe.

In regards to the Hilfskreuzers,i think that many of the pilots that flew the planes on the ships were Luftwaffe but the Observers were Kriegsmarine.

More research needed here on my behalf.


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  • 2 weeks later...

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