Honour Shield of Air Corps XI (1st pattern)
Image courtesy of Auction House Andreas Thies, Catalogue 45
Estimated market value:
The award was solely intended for those that took part in the capture of the Greek isle of Crete. It was instituted by General Kurt Student and could be awarded in addition to the Crete cuff title, but also on its own.
The award may not have been instituted prior to October of 1942. No award documents have surfaced so far.
There are two patterns of this award.
The first pattern is a rectangular plaque with two unequally big parts, each with a slightly raised edge. The upper, larger part shows an attacking eagle facing to the viewer's left inside an oak leaf wreath, with the inscription "Kreta 1941". The lower, smaller part includes the inscription, reading: in recognition of special merits, followed by the recipient's rank and title, and Student's facsimile signature.
The second pattern is a rectangular plaque with a raised edge. It shows a 1st pattern "droop tail" Luftwaffe eagle with swastika, with the dates of May 20 and June 2, 1941 on each side, the fighting days it took to capture Crete. At the bottom is an outline of the isle of Crete. In between, the inscription reads: in recognition of special merits during the Crete deployment I award this shield to ... At this point, a brass bar is attached to the shield by means of two rivets, which holds the recipient's name. The inscription continues: the commanding general of Air Corps XI.
A third form exists, with a left-facing parachute-style eagle and the identical 2nd pattern inscription, however, this is a known fake, which has been established in 1973.
The German title of this award is "Ehrenschild des XI. Flieger-Korps".
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