WW1 Prussian Air Gunners Badge
Much like the British and French, the German Empire did not have a stand-alone air force during the First World War. Instead, the development of military aviation power was centred on supporting the ‘traditional’ branches of the military, such as the army and navy. Both the army and navy had their own aviation units.
Further to this, the different Germanic states that had been unified in 1871 were still not completely integrated during the First World War. They had different units, different traditions and different commanders. Aviators would therefore serve in a unit hailing from their state, in either the army or the navy.
This is a Prussian Air Gunners badge, awarded to those who displayed competency in operating machine guns on the ground and in the aerial combat. The Prussian Air Gunner’s Badge was instituted on January 27, 1918.
The badge itself is oval, and topped with the Imperial crown. On the left is a laurel wreath, symbolising victory. The other side has oak leaves, symbolising strength. A ribbon on the bottom joins these two qualities. In the centre flies an eagle, above a machine guns crosshairs.
A excellent reproduction WW1 Prussian Air Gunners Badge.
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