German WWII Luftwaffe Flight Operational Clasp in Gold for Reconnaissance-This is an interesting example of this popular clasp. The main reason being that this example is marked. These clasps were usually unmarked. This one is marked on the reverse with L/21 for the rare maker, Foerster & Barth of Pforzheim. The gold gilt is mostly intact on this piece and is only missing on the highest details. The remaining gold highlights on the oak leaves and wreath look really good. The burnishing on the eagle is also beautiful. There is something interesting about the wear on this clasp. There is a hole that has been drilled into the eagle’s neck, and there is an odd wear pattern on the right-side wings. We think that this badge may have been attached to something, with possibly wire, and that is why the hold was drilled and the wear patterns are on the side. Take a look and see what you think. The hinge and pin setup functions perfectly.
History: The Reconnaissance, Air/Sea Rescue and Meteorological Operational Flying Clasp was introduced by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on January 30th, 1941, along with two other clasps, in a series of eight that were instituted at different points throughout the war to recognize the increasing number of operational flights achieved by specialized Luftwaffe personnel. All eight of the clasps were awarded in three grades of, Bronze for twenty operational flights, Silver for sixty operational flights, and Gold for one hundred ten operational flights. By mid-1942 many pilots and aircrew were surpassing the number of operational flights required for award of the clasps, so on June 26th, 1942, Göring introduced a starburst pendant device to recognize operational flights of over one hundred and ten with a prescribed number of operational flights required for award depending on the type of clasp. In the case of the Reconnaissance, Air/Sea Rescue and Meteorological clasp three hundred operational flights were necessary for the award of the starburst pendant. Of Note: Due to the ever-increasing operational flights achieved by Luftwaffe personnel Göring decided to replace the sunburst pendant on April 29th, 1944 with a new numbered pendant. The numbered pendants began at "200" and went up as high as "2000" in increments of one hundred.