Air Gunner & Flight Engineer Badge, by Jmme
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The Air Gunner & Flight Engineer's Badge was conferred upon all Luftwaffe personnel who served as air gunners, flight engineers, and aircrew meteorologists after they had rendered two months of non-operational qualifying service, or participated in a minimum of five operational flights. The minimum number of flights was reduced if the recipient was injured while serving on an operational flight.
There are two versions of this badge, one with a silver-coloured wreath and one with a black wreath. The badges with silver-coloured wreaths were the regular Air Gunner & Flight Engineer Badges, while the badges with a black wreath were added as a version on April 25, 1944. They were awarded to recipients who had not met the requirements for the regular badge, yet had to replace the air gunners killed in action during the closing stages of the Second World War.
Before the institution of the Air Gunner & Flight Engineer Badge, gunners, engineers, and meteorologists would receive the Radio Operator & Air Gunner Badge. The difference between the two badges is that the original Radio Operator & Air Gunner Badge shows an eagle carrying lightning bolts in its claws, while the later instituted Air Gunner & Flight Engineer Badge shows the same eagle, but without the lightning bolts.
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