BACKGROUND: 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, bronze for twenty operational flights, silver for sixty operational flights, and gold for one hundred ten operational flights. By mid-1942 many pilots and air crew 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 the 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.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck, two piece, zinc construction clasp with gilt and burnished silver finishes. The clasp is in the form of a gilt washed, central, circular, laurel leaf wreath, with a static swastika superimposed to the bottom center, encompassing a burnished silver washed, left profile, stylized eagle's head. The clasp has three, gilt washed, overlapping, parallel rows of oak-leaves extend horizontally outward from either side of the central wreath. The central stylized eagle's head is secured to the clasp by a single, small dome headed rivet which is visible on the reverse. The clasp only retains about 30% of its gilt wash with light to moderate oxidization spotting, while the burnished silver wash to the stylized eagle's head is retained about 70%. The solid reverse of the clasp has a solid soldered hinge, a broad, tapering horizontal pin and a heavy soldered catch on a circular base plate all intact. The reverse is well marked with impressed manufacturer's logo and initials consisting of an inverted three leaf clover, (club), with an initial to each leaf, "BSW", indicating manufacture by Brüder Schneider A. G., Wien. The reverse, bottom edge of the central laurel leaf wreath has two, small, soldered on, vertically extended arms with looped ends to secure the pendant to the clasp. The gilt washed, die struck alloy pendant is in the form of a horizontally aligned, embossed central starburst pattern flanked on each side by three, small, overlapping, horizontally extended laurel leaves The top edge of the laurel leaves have two small cut-out loops for the securing arms. The solid reverse of the pendant is plain. The pendant only retains remnants of its gilt wash and has taken on the flat matte grey appearance of the base alloy. Of Note: Due to the ever increasing operational flights achieved by Luftwaffe personnel Göring decided to replace the starburst 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.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $1,489.00 (Or Best Offer)

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