BACKGROUND: When the Reichsluftwaffe, (National Air {Weapon} Force), was officially established on February 26TH 1935 as the third branch of service of the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), it adopted the shoulder board/strap rank insignia that had been utilized by its clandestine, civilian forerunner the Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports Association). The shoulder boards/straps remained in use through-out the war with minor modifications. Of Note: On March 9TH 1935 the formation of the new Reichsluftwaffe was announced to the foreign press and on March 16TH conscription was reintroduced for all three branches of service. On May 21ST 1935 the Reichsluftwaffe designation was altered to Luftwaffe, (Air {Weapon} Force). The shoulder straps were worn in matching pairs and indicated the branch of service and rank of the wearer. The different branches of service within the Luftwaffe were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with bright red being chosen for personnel serving with the Flugzeugabwehrartillerie/Flakartillerie, (Anti-Aircraft Artillery), units which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps. Originally NCO ranks wore a bright, silver/aluminum tress on the forward collar edge of the dress and service tunics, on the tropical and continental field blouses, as adornment on the shoulder straps and dress tunic cuffs and also as sleeve rank chevrons. On September 1ST 1942, the Luftwaffe, following the army’s lead, introduced a new subdued, matte, blue/grey rayon tress for wear on the field uniform. Although the new subdued tress was intended to replace the highly visible, bright, silver/aluminum tress it continued in usage until the end of the war.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Sew on shoulder strap of Luftwaffe blue/grey wool, bordered on all sides with Luftwaffe tress, with one rank pip and the strap edged with brown rayon waffenfarbe piping. Interestingly, the strap is backed in tropical tan material.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $69.00 (Or Best Offer)

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