L000881 FLIGHT EM/NCO'S WHITE TOP VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze für Sommer)

BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all military personnel during the Third Reich period and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individual’s rank. On its inception on February 26TH 1935, the Luftwaffe adopted most of the uniform items of the earlier DLV, Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports League), its clandestine, civilian forerunner, including the visor cap. In March 1935 the earlier, "Tellerform", saucer shaped, caps were replaced with a new a "Sattelform" cap with a higher front peak and an oval shaped top. The insignia utilized on the visor caps consisted of the Luftwaffe style national eagle as introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV on August 18TH 1934 and was officially adopted for wear by all Luftwaffe personnel on March 1ST 1935 along with a new winged wreath and national tri-color cockade. The visor caps for Company and Field grade Officers holding the ranks of Leutnant up to Oberst were distinguished from EM/NCO’s caps by bright silver/aluminum piping and a silver/aluminum chin cord while Officers holding Generals ranks of Generalmajor up to Reichsmarschall utilized gold colored fittings. EM/NCO ranks visor caps utilized the appropriate waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), piping and blackened leather chinstraps. The different branches of service within the Luftwaffe were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with golden yellow being chosen for Flieger, (Flight), personnel which was displayed as piping on EM/NCO’s visor caps. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), system. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their caps from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase visor caps of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their caps from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored caps although the price may have been restrictive. In April 1935 a white topped visor cap was introduced and was permitted for wear by all ranks, as an optional item, between April 1ST and October 1ST annually. The cap was most commonly produced with a removable top although fixed top caps were also produced contrary to regulations. Originally the removable white tops were produced in a ribbed, white, cotton drill until regulations of June 1937 altered the top to a white cotton/synthetic material blend with a repeating waffle pattern although both styles were worn through-out the war.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, pre-June 1937, EM/NCO’s white top visor cap consists of a removable, ribbed, white, cotton/rayon blend top with white cotton/rayon blend piping to the forward edge of the crown. The removable top fits securely to the formed body of the cap. The cap features a black, horizontally ribbed, mohair centerband and golden yellow wool waffenfarbe piping to both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The interior of the cap has a vertical stiffener to the front center and retains the cap’s relaxed shape with a high, central, forward, peak and overlapping side panels. The front center of the cap has a silver washed, die stamped aluminum construction, second pattern, (Circa 1936/1937-1945), Luftwaffe eagle. The front center of the centerband has a silver washed, stamped aluminum, winged wreath with a black, silver and red painted national tri-color cockade. The cap has a black, simulated, leather chinstrap with two, black painted, vertically rectangular, sheet metal, retaining clips and two, black painted, vertically oval, sliding, sheet metal length adjustment buckles. The chinstrap is secured to the cap by two, smooth, black painted, sheet metal buttons. The cap has an extended, forward, black lacquered, vulcanfibre visor with a machine stitched, simulated leather lip to the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined with ribbed white rayon. Celluloid sweat diamond fully intact and has the makers details. The interior of the cap also has a white leather sweatband. Sweatband has a few tears but is complete. The cap is roughly size 56. Superb, high quality cap. Nice!

GRADE ****                             PRICE $

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