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I have a paper group to Segelmachersmaaten Andreas Busch who drowned with his comrades when L19 crashed into the North Sea and the British trawler King Stephen declined to rescue them, most likely because they were fishing illegally in Dutch waters.


Can anyone give me Busch's service record and list of decorations?


Below is the Urkunde for his Karl-Friedrich-Verdienstmedaille.  Is there any information out there as to who qualified for it and the conditions of awarding?  I'm not a medal collector and was surprised this was named, given to officers and other ranks, and even awarded posthumously as it was to Busch.


Many thanks!







PS  Those interested in the story, can read it here in english... 




auf deutsch...







Edited by Luftmensch

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Great group John. I love it.

I saw this group on the last Bene Merenti auction. Congratulation to this historical purchase. The most exciting piece out of this group is without any doubt the last words written on a piece of paper moments before he died. At that time all of the crew knew that there will never come back home.

But consider that he was awarded the "Verdienstmedaille" (merite medal) on the ribbon of the Karl-Friedrich-Verdienstmedaille not the MKFVM himself. This was the lower grade of merite award for enlisted men and NCO.


It is that one not the MKFVM

Edited by jaba1914

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Thank you, Alex.  Thank you for not outbidding me!

Since you mentioned it, below is his "Flaschenpost" to his wife.  You can still see the folds where he rolled it up to stuff it in the opening of a thermos along with other crew messages including one from KptLt. Loewe who got blood on his card.  The thermos was found on the Swedish coast 6 months later when the world learned from one of the messages that the King Stephen refused to take the crew off and filed a false position report when it returned to home port. 

Alex, can you show me a picture of what this medal looked like?  Was it named?  Thanks.











“Meine liebste Frau und mein lb. Alwin.

Leider will es Gott daß wir uns nicht

wiedersehen. Liebste Frau, ich

glaube unsere lb. Eltern nehmen sich

Euch an. Auf Wiedersehen in

der ewigen Seligkeit. Nochmals

viele herzl. Grüße Euch allen

Andreas “




"My dearest wife and my beloved Alwin.

Unfortunately it is God’s will that we will not  

see each other again. Dearest wife, I

believe our beloved parents shall take care

of you. Goodbye in

eternal bliss. Again many

heartfelt greetings to all of you

Andreas "






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Thanks , Andreas.

Only one object came with the paper.  Any ideas what this could be?



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Hi John,


That is a remarkable piece of history, congratulations. I think your piece of ribbon is from a Studentika watch fob or similar.

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Hi, Vince

It does look like that! 

Luftschiffharry says it may be a mourning band that is cinched around a framed portrait of the deceased.

RIF is German for R.I.P.  -- "Ruhe in Frieden" -- and that the last "F" is "Freund".  So the band was given by military comrades for their deceased friend. 

Confirmation would be nice, but if true maybe this custom has died out!

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I wonderful historic and very personal group.

some additional information on the medal itself can be found through the link to the site is listed below. as jaba stated it is generally a lo ranking medal for NCO and soldiers.

Silver Medal of Merit Friedrich II. 1908
After the reign of Frederick II as Grand Duke in 1907, the medals of merit were made with new stamps. The medals that had been produced until then were each awarded the portrait of the respective ruler. The first award in this form took place in 1810 by Grand Duke Carl Friedrich. Before that, there were civil medal awards from the Margraves. From 1908 to 1912, the medals were made in silver. During the First World War numerous NCOs and soldiers were honored with the medals and so the production was made of war metal silvered. The stamp was cut by Professor Rudolf Mayer in Karlsruhe. Medals in silver have been awarded about 3050 pieces. In total, over 100,000 medals were awarded.




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