LOT OF ELEVEN (11) ITEMS PERTAINING TO GERMAN WORLD WAR II LUFTWAFFE
STUKA PILOT AND GERMAN CROSS IN GOLD WINNER LIEUTENANT HEINZ SCHMITT
Item #6: LUFTWAFFE BOMBER PILOT FLYING CLASP (FRONTFLUGSPANGE)Note: no space for the text!
Shown below is a full frontal view photo of Lieutenant Schmittís Bomber Pilot Flying Clasp in gilt grade, which is an integral element of this lot of items.
Front of Lt. Schmitt's
To better understand the context under which Lieutenant Schmitt qualified for this award, it is first necessary to appreciate the level of personal service each recipient of the combat pilotís clasp were required to perform in order to qualify. In furtherance to this point, to identify those personnel who served in combat positions for protracted periods of time, the Luftwaffe initially instituted a series of operational flying clasps on 30 January 1941, partly to commemorate the anniversary of the NDSAP coming to power on that date in 1933.
While the original listing of service bars and qualification standards were subsequently changed several times
after that date as the war progressed, the basic concept of the decoration itself remained unchanged. In keeping with the ever increasing specialized character of flight operations, it soon became obvious that separate bars, recognizing the distinct service provided the Luftwaffe by Day Fighter Pilots, Night Fighter Pilots, Air to Ground Support Squadrons, Bomber Formations and Reconnaissance activities, would have to be established in gilt, silver and bronze classes respectively, based upon the following service formula:
1st Class (GILT) 110 Operational Flights
2nd Class (Silver) 60 Operational Flights
3rd Class (Bronze) 20 Operational Flights
On 26 June 1942, to correct the unfair situation where pilots flying certain types of operations, such as logistical transport, could easily meet the maximum one hundred and ten (110) mission requirement necessary to qualify for the gilt grade of the combat flight clasp after only three or four months of service, while those assigned to fighter or bomber commands obviously could not, an upgrade to the criteria for this award was necessary.
As such, to equalize the playing field for all Luftwaffe pilots, while simultaneously re-establishing the original intended integrity of this service medal, new criteria was established whereby pilots could earn four (4) higher grades of this decoration. This revised criteria, which would be represented simply by the addition of a numbered pendant suspended from the center bottom of the already held gilt class bar, was based on the following branch performance requirements: