by Mark Schroeder
Instituted on 27 November 1944, by order of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Sea Battle Badge was the last instituted Luftwaffe war badge. Since the Germans had no aircraft carriers or an air branch of the navy, all personnel who performed air related functions fell under control of Göring and the Luftwaffe.
The Sea Battle Badge was to be awarded to crews of Luftwaffe supply ships, air/sea rescue launches, and other special surface vessels. All military, official, and civilian Luftwaffe personnel were eligible. It could not be awarded under conditions that would entitle the participant to be awarded one of the war badges of the navy, or to aircrew personnel.
Reproduction - badge presented for illustration purposes only
This badge was awarded based on an accumulation of days at sea, with a day being equal to 10 hours at sea. Award criteria were as follows:
1. Leaders and crews of supply ships and other Luftwaffe surface craft.
a. 60 days sea in the North or East sea, between 5 and 20 degrees longitude
and south of the 60th degree of latitude, or
b. 20 days at sea in the Mediterranean, including the Aegean and Black Sea.
2. Leaders and crews of air/sea rescue launches
a. 20 days at sea with a minimum of one rescue attempt or a three hour sea
duration each day.
b. 10 sea days with a successful rescue.
The intended badge was to be a gilt wreath, with the Luftwaffe eagle and
swastika at the top in silver with a sea vessel in the center in dark metal,
tilted 30 degrees to the right. As is the case with all war badges, it was to be worn on the left breast pocket. An award citation would accompany the badge.
Although the badge was officially authorized as well as pictured and described in the Luftwaffe Verordnungs-blatt, there is no factual information that the badge was ever actually produced, with the exception of one or two prototypes. Purported award papers exist, but there is no evidence that the badge was awarded in conjunction with the documents.
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