BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all personnel during the Third Reich period and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individuals 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 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. Officer and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and could choose to purchase them 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. Company and Field grade Officer’s caps were distinguished from the EM/NCO’s caps by bright silver/aluminum piping and a silver/aluminum chin cord while General Officer’s ranks utilized gold colored fittings. EM/NCO ranks utilized the appropriate branch of service piping and blackened leather chinstraps. The different branches of service within the Luftwaffe were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe color with black being chosen for personnel on the permanent staff of the RLM, Reichsluftfahrtministerium, (National Air Ministry), and building and construction units. RLM personnel discontinued use of the black waffenfarbe on June 30TH 1939, and regulations of December 22ND 1939 allocated the black waffenfarbe to building and construction unit personnel.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Private purchase, Luftwaffe blue/grey wool/rayon blend construction cap. The cap features a black, horizontally ribbed, interwoven, mohair centerband and black wool waffenfarbe to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The front center of the cap has a stamped, silver washed, zinc, second pattern Luftwaffe eagle and the front center of the centerband has a stamped, silver washed, zinc winged wreath with a painted national tri-color cockade. The cap has a black patent leather chinstrap with two, black painted, rectangular, sheet metal, retaining clips and two, black painted, rectangular, sheet metal sliding 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, fibre visor with stitched on simulated leather trim to the forward edge. Lining is complete and still retains its original celluloid sweat shield with makers mark. Leather sweatband is complete, but starting to pull loose in several place. Cap is roughly a size 55 or 56. Scarce black piped Luftwaffe visor.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $

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