Wonderful ca 1917 Prussian Pilot Badge of Fighter Pilot Walter Gabriel, Brother of ACE Willi Gabriel

Wonderful ca 1917 Prussian Pilot Badge of Fighter Pilot Walter Gabriel, Brother of ACE Willi Gabriel

Code: gmimb10017ceu

SOLD!!! No Longer Available!

Product Description


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This is a wonderful example of the M1913 Imperial Prussian Air Force Pilot Badge, which saw heavy wear during the war by Fighter Pilot Walter Gabriel, who is credited with One Aerial Victory.

Such heavy wear, in fact, that both the C catch, and the pin, had to be replaced. Although the pin may have been changed for wearing preferences: a very flat, wide, pin was used, which would have allowed for very tight suspension loops to be sewn onto the uniform, keeping the badge for moving around. The C catch was certainly broken  and repaired, and the base plate of the repair covers most of the Crescent Moon and 800 mark on back of the badge. While there is no damage to the obverse of the badge, it does appear to have some slight loss of details, due to heavy polishing. Although the badge has a lovely patina now, over 100 years later, apparently Herr Gabriel liked to keep it "in the bright"!

Beautifully hand-etched on the back, done undoubtedly by Walter himself, in an Art Nouveaux / Arts & Crafts period style font, the badge reads:

Verliehen (Awarded)

am 31 Mai 1917

Walter Gabriel


Schweden Str. 16

Walter and his twin brother Willi built their own Eindecker Aircraft in the early 1910's, the 3rd, ca 1912, was a 2-seater that brother Willi flew to earn his Pilot Brevet on 12 August 1912.

Both Willi and Walter went on to become fighter pilots in World War One, and their exploits - especially Willi's - are detailed in the publication "Fokker D VII aces of World War I" by Norman Leslie Robert Franks, Greg Van Wyngarden and Tony Holmes.

Willi had a head start on Walter, and was a Double ACE before the end of the War, with 11 Aerial Victories. Walter, earning his Brevet 5 years later than Willi, is only credited with 1 Victory. But, that is still more than many airman accomplished in the First World War.  

While it is hard to find more information on Walter, a timeline of Willi's accomplishments can be found here: http://www.sterbebild.de/2972.html?*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*

Bromberg, where the Gabriel brothers were from, was a part of Prussia that is now in Poland, and called Bydgoszcz. And the Gabriel family had Polish ties themselves, being related directly to eventual Polish President Lech Walesa.


SIZE: Approximately 2-7/8" in height x 1-13/16" in width.


ATTACHMENT: Vertical T Pin with open C catch.



ITEM NOTES: This is from a WWI Imperial German collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. VAJJJM17 LFHGEX07/16/22 SFEJJX07/27/22

CONDITION: 7+ (Very Fine): The replaced pin and catch do not really detract, if anything, they add character to the badge. I am deducting more for the wear on front. But, the badge is still a treasure, with its biographical information etched on the reverse, and would still be an important part of any WWI Imperial German Aviation Collection. 

GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.