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Three Luftwaffe badges - good to go?


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Hello, all -

My collecting has radically slowed down over the past few years due to kids and work getting in the way, so I've frequented the forums much less as well.  I am almost exclusively a WWII US Army Air Force collector, but I've always found that items from other nations' air forces are interesting as well, and I've picked up a few things here and there.  I am exceedingly cautious when it comes to German stuff, but recently had the opportunity to potentially add these Luftwaffe items to the collection.  I've studied threads here and on the WAF, but I still find it rather difficult to tell good from bad sometimes (or maybe more accurately, often!).  Any thoughts upon these three badges would be greatly appreciated!  If better angles, lighting, whatever would help, please let me know!

Best,

Nack

First, a pilot badge marked Berg & Nolte.

Second, an unmarked pilot.

Third, a bomber clasp marked Funcke & Bruninghaus.

 

BN - front.JPG

BN - back.JPG

unmk - front.JPG

unmk - bk.JPG

clasp - front.JPG

clasp - back.JPG

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Good morning, Nack

So, let's start with the clasp....all the characteristics of an original by F&BL.

Unmarked PB...again, all the characteristics of an original, in zinc, by Friedrich Linden - Lüdenscheid (FLL).

As to the B&NL PB....going on the pictures, the rivets look to be smaller than the norm, this possibly due to them being tightened at some point....but the badge, i would say, in an original.

below are a couple of PB's for comparison.

1. FLL in zinc: this example has a round catch plate...yours has the classic oval type..both types are known FLL characteristics.

2. B&NL: this particular example has the hinge which is placed a little lower on the wreath..both types are known B&NL characteristics.

fll_pb_zinc.thumb.jpg.9bd4671988a4eae8798c058020ef26ac.jpg

bnl_pb.thumb.jpg.5017dbb5fcc7b9e88f47ce570c002881.jpg

 

  

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Nack...

If you are using a digital SLR, the best lens to have is a Macro for close-up work....well worth the investment.

Anyway, the close-up shot of your badge shows that either it was a sloppy day at the factory or, as said, the rivets have been worked on a later date...hard to tell.

below you will find a close-up comparison of your rivets and what is considered the norm.  Of course not all rivets are identical due to different workers used on the finishing process and/or the time frame that a particular badge was produced.  B&NL badges can be found with the usual domed rivet, ones that have the top of the rivet flattened, etc, showing a different method of finishing....this goes for most, if not all, of the manufacturers of the time.

your badge-top

comp_rivets_bnl.thumb.jpg.21f8c5cad0c32d84d2e0abcea57d4195.jpg

 A shot of a B&NL ROAG badge with rivets with flat tops...

bnl_roag_tombak.thumb.jpg.c7448a6f8e95d82ff23c57c4eeef0c76.jpg

Hope this helps...

 

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In playing around with the lighting, I noticed that the initials “HB” are scratched on the back in a few places - on the back of the eagle and the right side of the wreath.  Hopefully these pics show it.  It’s a bit stylized with the right-hand side of the H forming the left-hand side of the B.

6F2BD1BB-E042-43D6-A257-8C5AC5EFBB50.jpeg

B0DCA99C-41B5-4427-A66E-C23FDACDD548.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Nack said:

In playing around with the lighting, I noticed that the initials “HB” are scratched on the back in a few places - on the back of the eagle and the right side of the wreath.  Hopefully these pics show it.  It’s a bit stylized with the right-hand side of the H forming the left-hand side of the B.

6F2BD1BB-E042-43D6-A257-8C5AC5EFBB50.jpeg

B0DCA99C-41B5-4427-A66E-C23FDACDD548.jpeg

The scratching of initials/names and ranks, and sometimes unit designations, was a common practice by qualifying aircrew.

I have, in the past, managed to gather an individual's entire military history by what was found scratched on the back of a badge.

I see the "HB" but can you make out what comes after that? If you can, as it may turn out to be the rest of his surname H.B....,  we may be able to look this pilot up in the Luftwaffe lists. 

badge_name.thumb.jpg.9406c17d707e26b4f945232ee5581fc2.jpg

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44 minutes ago, J Temple-West said:

The scratching of initials/names and ranks, and sometimes unit designations, was a common practice by qualifying aircrew.

I have, in the past, managed to gather an individual's entire military history by what was found scratched on the back of a badge.

I see the "HB" but can you make out what comes after that? If you can, as it may turn out to be the rest of his surname H.B....,  we may be able to look this pilot up in the Luftwaffe lists. 

That would be very cool.  I'll examine it more and see what I can come up with.  Thanks again! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow!  Amazing.  Thanks again!  I’ll have to give this research thing a shot!

Is this spreadsheet somewhere online?  I’ve got another name to look up - once I figure it out - it’s on the label in a flight-piped officer jacket.  

CCE5362D-692C-4B63-8743-E1EA1A713C11.jpeg

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Thanks again - I was thinking Lt. Molinar as well.  My guess on the date was Mai.  Will poke around the internet to see what I can find on a Molinari.  Thanks! 

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Thanks!

On Molinari, the aircrewremembered site lists that S. Molinari you mentioned, and indicates that he was an Italian pilot I gather?

Molinari, S.

Lt

 

Italy, Regia Aeronautica Italiana

 

2 Gruppo (Egypt)

G.50 (lost 6/17/41)

 

KIA 17 June, 1941 near Sidi Omar Egypt; sd by RCAF F/L Woodward of No. 33 Sq. (RCAF Claims List).

The other site lists a different Molinari, who I guess was German:

MOLINARI, Anton. (DOB: 08.05.11 in Nürnberg). 05.44 in JG 110. 11.44 Oblt. in 4./NJG 11 then 5./NJG 11.

Would the Italian Molinari have had the occasion to wear a German uniform?  If not, it would seem that we could eliminate him.  I'm not up to speed on how the Axis handled uniforms when it came to servicemen from one country working with another.  Any thoughts appreciated!  

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 I think that we can discount Lt. S Molinari. Anton Molinari, however, sounds like it could be your man.  He would have been of Italian decent, as was another famous Molinari..Karl-Theodor, so not unusual.

The date on the jacket is 1937 so he was in the Luftwaffe at an early stage at the rank of Lt...checked to see if he appears in the Legion Condor lists...he does not.  So further research into Anton, and the squadrons he was in,  is the best bet. The thing about the WW2 German military is that they formed, and reformed, groups/units for specific objectives which makes research a little difficult at times, but having some of Molinari's units is a good place to start as documentation usually gives what a particular unit was formed from, when and the names of the officers.

 

Btw...any chance of posting a pic of the jacket as it may hold clues to awards...by way of loops/holes etc.  

 

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Interesting.  Here’s some quick snaps of the jacket.  Sorry for the quality.

i have no idea whether any of the accoutrements came with the jacket when it was originally acquired.

19EFB6D9-B12F-47AF-911D-F3F2E77AC470.jpeg

A905A410-5EE5-498C-B914-088EB4FF3441.jpeg

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Are there "unit histories" (books or pamphlets detailing the history, battles, and often rosters, of a unit) available for German units like on the American side?  If I were researching a US pilot, for example, I would locate the unit histories for the units he was in.  I have tried looking around the internet for such things, but have not had any luck, perhaps because such things do not exist?  I could see that being the case, as after the war, Germany tried to move on and not really discuss that chapter of their history.  

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15 hours ago, Nack said:

  I have tried looking around the internet for such things, but have not had any luck, perhaps because such things do not exist?  I could see that being the case, as after the war, Germany tried to move on and not really discuss that chapter of their history.  

Simply put, and unlike the US who probably has the largest open source archives in the world, Germany lost the vast majority of its records at the end of the war due to allied bombings, ransacking of ministries by invading troops and the theft of documents which were sold on the open market by German citizens.  What was left, and was managed to be reclaimed is held in the Bundesarchiv and can be accessed for a fee.  And of course, and as you say, there is the element that Germany has closed the door on that chapter of their history and feel no need to openly publish any documents associated with the period.  

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  • 5 months later...

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