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Fliegerdienst-Erinnerungsabzeichen, a.k.a. Flieger-Erinnerungsabzeichen

Air Service Commemorative Badge

The very existence of that obscure decoration is still being disputed by military historians and international collectors community as neither reliable documents on its introduction nor any photographic evidence of its wear are yet to be found. However this article combines various information on that controversial badge collected by an author from several German and English language sources. Research showed that Fliegerdienst-Erinnerungsabzeichen is initially mentioned in the newsletter of the Presidential Chancellery on state awards (“Deutsche Uniformen-Zeitschrift – Schwert und Spaten/Uniformen-Markt”) published in November 1941. Thus, Volume XI contains an interesting article “Do You Know this Badge?” (“Kennen Sie dieses Abzeichen?”) on page 132 illustrated by a black and white drawing of that mysterious decoration.

It is considered that Fliegerdienst-Erinnerungsabzeichen was instituted on January 27, 1914 by the King of Prussia and the Emperor of the German Empire Wilhelm II in conjunction with his birthday. The badge was intended to be issued to former aviators – officers, NCOs and lower ranks who were not eligible for conscription in the Royal Prussian Flying Corps for health reasons or advanced age upon declaration of total mobilization after the Great War broke out.

Air Service Commemorative Badge had a shape of a vertical oval with an outside perimeter surrounded by a wide wreath. Its left side had laurel leaves symbolizing victory and its right side had oak leaves standing for strength and hardiness. Both were joined together with a ribbon bow at the bottom thus signifying combination of those two qualities. Imperial crown topped the badge. The central part of the badge with a pebbled surface carried an image of a crossed vertical propeller and horizontal pair of spread wings.

The badge measuring 71x45 mm and weighing 14,94 g was supposed to be stamped of silvered Buntmetall and attached to a tunic by a vertical pin soldered to its reverse.

No information on possible production of Air Service Commemorative Badge is available for the time being. It may well be that only few specimen were manufactured.

Air Service Badge 1