WW1 Prussian Naval Seaplane Pilots Badge

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A reproduction First World War Prussian Naval Seaplane Pilots Badge.

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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 Naval Air Service Badge, issued to qualified naval seaplane pilots. These aviators mostly operated in the North Sea, observing British ships as they approached or mined the German coast. It would have been worn on or below the left breast pocket.

The badge is a study, gold gilt oval shape. It is topped with an Imperial crown. One side has a laurel wreath, symbolising victory. The other side has an oak leaves, symbolising strength. A ribbon on the bottom joins these two qualities. The centre of the badge features an eagle flying over the sea off Helgoland Island, the site of German Navy base at the North Sea.

An excellent reproduction Prussian First World War seaplane pilots badge.

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