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I am hoping that some knowledgeable members here will offer an opinion on this cross which has been in my collection for over 35 years. It was purchased from a reputable dealer who had an outlet in Brighton Lanes back in the early-'80s. It was a tad over-priced being inscribed for a pilot of Jagdstaffel Boelcke but the significance of the recipient was in no way reflected in the asking price so I snapped it up. So far so good but a few years later, an illustration of another EKI bearing a similar inscription appeared on p140 of V.E. Bowen's Prussian and German Iron Cross (1986). This vaulted cross is held by the IWM in London along with its Godet case. I have long since theorised over what I may have here but would truly appreciate more knowledgeable and objective opinions. Thanks.   

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Hello Peter;

Thanks for posting this.  I've looked at the photos, but they are a bit foggy.  I know it's hard to get the camera to focus on a subject that is multiple depths, but try to isolate the layers and take some really good shots.  Especially of the inscription.  Honestly, I couldn't read the last name or get a good sense of the engraving style.  Also please do a zoom of the "G" on the pin.  I think that will be very telling as well.

I will say upfront that I'm not really excited about this badge.  But I did want to see some clear photos before I make up my mind and others here would like a good look as well.

 

Thanks,

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Hi,

Thanks for the additional pictures.  I have been looking at this cross but I still am not sure what the inscription says on the back.  Would please tell us what you think it says.

Regards,

Gordon

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8 hours ago, Peter Cornwell said:

The pin is stamped with a G. The cross is inscribed V.FELDW P. BAUMER JAGDSTAFFEL BOELCKE 8.11.17

Hmmmmm, the list of Jasta pilots are relatively complete and I can't find a match for a Vzfw. P. Baumer.  There is the famous Ace, GMMC and PLM winner Ltn. Paul Baümer.  The photos are still blurry to me, are there umlauts?  

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Thanks for the name.  

Regards,

Gordon

Claudius,

From WIKI.

Paul Bäumer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Paul Bäumer

Nickname(s)"Der Eiserne Adler" (The Iron Eagle)

Born11 May 1896
Duisburg

Died15 July 1927 (aged 31)
Near Copenhagen, Denmark

AllegianceGerman Empire; Weimar Republic

Service/branchInfantry, Luftstreitkräfte

Years of service1914–1918

RankLieutenant

UnitFA 7, Jastas 2 & 5

AwardsPour le Mérite, Military Merit Cross, Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class, Silver Wound Badge

This article deals with Paul Bäumer the pilot. For the fictional Paul Bäumer, see All Quiet on the Western Front. For the late member of electronic music group Bingo Players, see Bingo Players

Paul Wilhelm Bäumer (11 May 1896 – 15 July 1927) was a German fighter ace in World War I.

Contents

1Background

2Involvement in World War I

3Post-War Career

4External links

5References

6Bibliography

Background[edit]

Bäumer was born on 11 May 1896 in Duisburg, Germany. He was a dental assistant before World War I, and earned a private pilot's license by Summer 1914.[1]

Involvement in World War I[edit]

At the start of the war, he joined the 70th Infantry Regiment. He served in both France and Russia, being wounded in the arm in the latter. He then transferred to the air service as a dental assistant before being accepted for military pilot training.[1]

By October 1916, he was serving as a ferry pilot and instructor at Armee Flugpark 1. On 19 February 1917, he was promoted to Gefreiter. On 26 March, he was assigned to Flieger Abteilung 7; he was promoted to Unteroffizier on the 29th.[1]

On 15 May 1917, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. He subsequently received training on single-seaters, consequently being posted to fighter duty. Bäumer joined Jagdstaffel 5 on 30 June 1917, scoring three victories as a balloon buster in mid-July before going to the elite Jasta Boelcke.[1]

Bäumer claimed heavily, reaching 18 victories by year end. He was commissioned in April 1918. On 29 May Bäumer was injured in a crash, breaking his jaw, and he returned to the Jasta in September. With the arrival of the Fokker D.VII he claimed even more success, including 16 in September. Nicknamed "The Iron Eagle", he flew with a personal emblem of an Edelweiss on his aircraft. He was one of the few pilots in World War I whose lives were saved by parachute deployment, when he was shot down in flames in September. He received the Pour le Mérite shortly before the Armistice and was finally credited with 43 victories, ranking ninth among German aces.[1]

Post-War Career[edit]

After the war, Bäumer worked briefly in the dockyards before he became a dentist, and reportedly one of his patients, Erich Maria Remarque, used Bäumer's name for the protagonist of his antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front.[1]

Continuing his interest in flying, he founded his own aircraft company in Hamburg. Bäumer died in an air crash at Copenhagen on 15 July 1927, age 31, while test flying a Rohrbach Ro IX fighter.[1]

External links

Paul Bäumer page at theaerodrome.com 

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Claudius,

There are no umlauts on my cross. But the correct spelling of the pilot's name is Bäumer.  

Scottplen,

I'm unsure if your question was to me or exactly what you mean by 'valid'. The inscription is as you see it and conforrms in most details with that on the EKI held by the IWM in London. From what I can make out, their inscription has no umlauts either.

Thank you all for your interest. Gordon Craig describes the correct individual.

 

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2 hours ago, Peter Cornwell said:

Claudius,

There are no umlauts on my cross. But the correct spelling of the pilot's name is Bäumer.  

Scottplen,

I'm unsure if your question was to me or exactly what you mean by 'valid'. The inscription is as you see it and conforrms in most details with that on the EKI held by the IWM in London. From what I can make out, their inscription has no umlauts either.

Thank you all for your interest. Gordon Craig describes the correct individual.

 

Hello

just wondering if this is text book example of what you look for in engraving on EK1 ?

i see them from time to time and they seem all different?

 

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Hi Peter,

Having collected German orders for some 45 years, I can honestly say that engraved EK1's are a veritable minefield. I have only two in my collection right now, and I've only ever owned one to an aviator that was absolutely correct. I don't like the style of engraving of your cross, period engraving was usually in a cursive script. And no self-respecting German would leave an Umlaut out, just wasn't done.  In addition, I'm always very suspicious of crosses or aviator badges engraved with the names of famous pilots, as they are invariably fake. I think the cross itself is a good piece from Godet with spurious engraving to enhance value.

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7 hours ago, Peter Cornwell said:

Claudius,

There are no umlauts on my cross. But the correct spelling of the pilot's name is Bäumer.  

Scottplen,

I'm unsure if your question was to me or exactly what you mean by 'valid'. The inscription is as you see it and conforrms in most details with that on the EKI held by the IWM in London. From what I can make out, their inscription has no umlauts either.

Thank you all for your interest. Gordon Craig describes the correct individual.

 

The famous pilot/ace/PLM-winner spelled his name with umlauts.  Without them, it is entirely a different name and individual.  There is no possible way that the engraver from 1917 would have not used them.  It wouldn't be his name.  Baumer would be a different individual.  It would be like spelling my name as "Claudio".

16 minutes ago, VtwinVince said:

Hi Peter,

I think the cross itself is a good piece from Godet with spurious engraving to enhance value.

Without a good look at the "G", I'm not sure that is even that is authentic.  From the reverse, Godet EK1s have amazing symmetry and cutouts that I can't reconcile here.   

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53 minutes ago, VtwinVince said:

Hi Peter,

Having collected German orders for some 45 years, I can honestly say that engraved EK1's are a veritable minefield. I have only two in my collection right now, and I've only ever owned one to an aviator that was absolutely correct. I don't like the style of engraving of your cross, period engraving was usually in a cursive script. And no self-respecting German would leave an Umlaut out, just wasn't done.  In addition, I'm always very suspicious of crosses or aviator badges engraved with the names of famous pilots, as they are invariably fake. I think the cross itself is a good piece from Godet with spurious engraving to enhance value.

I have never seen one that is that is printed like this ? Vince is right usually script engraved . I would think if it was engraved for a famous pilot the engraving would be very fancy?

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Thank you gentlemen for all your comments which are both welcome and appreciated. While I am satisfied that the cross itself is a genuine piece, the consensus here suggests that the engraving could be spurious. That may, of course, be entirely correct in which case it seems that the cross held by the IWM in London may be equally so due to its similar lack of umlaut ? The slightly inflated price that I paid hardly reflected the trouble that somebody went to in adding the engraving but one has to admire their nous in sourcing a genuine Godet cross to add it to. It all makes for an interesting conversation piece that I am still happy to have in my collection. Thank you all again.      

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Hi Peter,

It is amazing the number of spurious, engraved items ostensibly to German aviators that have flooded the market in recent years. Most of these come from eastern Europe, and some are very convincing.

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Vince,

I'm sure that is true. However, this has been in my possession for over 35 years and back then the main thing you had to keep an eye out for were convincing post-war replicas - usually Souval restrikes. Thanks again.

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