Graduation Badge of the Third School of Military Pilots and
Reconnaissance Pilots, #41, 1936-38 issue.
In silver-plated and gilded brass and enamel; measures 44.3
mm in height, 33.3 mm in width. Riveted three-piece
construction: the crossed machinegun and bomb emblem of the
school and the wings with star are separate parts
superimposed on the oval wreath. Engraved serial number 41
on the reverse.
In very fine condition, truly outstanding for the 1936
model. There are small chips and flakes to the upper arms of
the star as well as tiny hairlines, but the enamel is
stable, shows attractive luster and has very impressive
overall appearance. The raised details are exceptionally
well preserved and crisp including the exposed parts of the
wings and machinegun. Most of the fragile silver finish on
the wings and especially on the bomb / machine gun emblem is
still present. Traces of original gold plating are clearly
visible on the obverse of the wreath, while the gilt on the
reverse and edges of the wreath is very bright. The rivets
are completely intact and tight, and the parts of the badge
are firmly attached. There is very attractive patina
throughout with just a touch of light verdigris that adds
character, no significant blemishes. The copper screw post
is original and of full length, well over 15 mm. The badge
includes very scarce original wing nut in silvered copper
which fits the screw perfectly.
This is one of the school-specific badges issued for only a
short time prior to the far more common 1938 unified models.
Note the typically low serial number. Perhaps an even bigger
factor in the rarity of this badge than the small number of
issues is the fact that the Soviet combat aviation cadres
were virtually annihilated by the Luftwaffe in the first
days of the Patriotic War. A fantastic item to add to the
serious collection of WW2 aviation memorabilia!
/See "Avers 8", Page 474, Fig. 2242/