BACKGROUND: The Reichsluftwaffe, (National Air-Force), was officially established on February 26TH 1935 as the third branch of service of the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces). 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). On April 14TH 1935 collar tabs were adopted by the newly formed Luftwaffe which followed the basic pattern of the collar tabs that had been utilized by its earlier, civilian, forerunner the, DLV, Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports Association). The collar tabs were worn in matching pairs and indicated the branch of service and rank of the wearer. In late 1942 and early 1943 Luftwaffe field divisions were rapidly mobilized from excess Luftwaffe personnel, primarily flight ground crew, signals and anti-aircraft personnel, to replace the massive lose of men on the Eastern front. Due to the lack of training and poor performance in the field, of the twenty-two divisions formed, seventeen were either destroyed or disbanded before the end of the war. Originally personnel serving with the Luftwaffe field divisions utilized their basic waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Colors), which was generally displayed on the shoulder straps/boards and the collar tabs. Regulations of January 1943 introduced, new, distinctive, "Jäger-Grün", (Rifle-Green), collar tabs with the basic branch of service piping. The January 1943 regulations also adopted some of the army’s branch of service colors which hadn’t existed within the Luftwaffe before which were also utilized as piping on the collar tabs. Due to their poor performance in the field the Luftwaffe field divisions were transferred to control of the Heer, (Army), on September 20TH 1943 and regulations of July 10TH 1944 introduced white as the branch of service color for some Luftwaffe field division Jäger, (Light Infantry), and Füsilier, (Infantry Reconnaissance), personnel, which was also to be displayed as piping on the Rifle-Green collar tabs. Of Note: The both the January 1943 and the July 1944 regulations also introduced army rank designations to replace the previously used Luftwaffe designations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Later war, July 1944 pattern, rifle-green wool construction collar tab with interwoven, white, rayon piping. The collar tab is mounted on light tan, buckram backings and is in overall excellent, unissued condition with minimal age toning. The unissued collar tab has no rank "gull" or any evidence that any were ever applied. Of Note: The lowest Luftwaffe ranks, (The actual rank designation changed with the specific branch of service), utilized at least one rank "gull" on each collar tab.

GRADE ****3/4                             PRICE $105.00

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