Balloon Observer's Badge
|Balloon Observer's Badge
Balloon Observer's Badge in Gold
|Awarded by Nazi Germany|
|Awarded for||service as a balloon observer|
|Campaign||World War II|
|Established||8 July 1944|
The Balloon Observer's Badge (German: Ballonbeobachterabzeichen) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to recognize the service of officers and men who risked their lives, flying 300 ft (91 m)-500 ft (152 m) above the ground in a gas balloon, which were easy targets for Allied pilots. Due to its late introduction, only a very small number were awarded. The badge was designed by Elmar Lang who claimed he had the prototype but that the badge was never put into official production. His claim forms the basis of doubt about the originality of badges which have appeared on the collector's market since the 1960s as no original World War II photographic evidence has come to light of either the award being presented or worn.
The die-struck badge features a laurel wreath of oak leaves and acorns surmounted by the national emblem of an eagle grasping a swastika. Below this is a representation of an observation balloon.
The Ballon Observer's Badge had three grades:
- Bronze - 20 Points
- Silver - 45 Points
- Gold - 75 Points
Points were awarded for particular conditions, such as transportation or control of heavy weapons and artillery.
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