Luftwaffe Honour Goblet / Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (awarded to a Stuka Airgunner).
This is a Luftwaffe Honour Goblet (Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe), which was awarded on 12-07-1942 to Austrian born Luftwaffe Unteroffizier Josef Egger.
The goblet is in very good condition with really stunning patina. It is made of Alpaka (German Silver) and marked as such on the underside with: FEINSILBER ALPAKA AUFLAGE. Also the name of the producer of the Goblet is visible: Joh. Wagner & Sohn. The name of the recipient and date of awarding are engraved on the side: UNTEROFFIZIER JOSEF EGGER AM 12.7.1942
The Goblet was found in Graz in Austria and has never been in collectorshands before. It is very rare to find a Honour Goblet from an Austrian who served in the Luftwaffe!
Under here is some background information on Egger. It is not easy and definately not naturally to find an identified Pokal with such backgroundinformation.
Josef Egger was born on 09-06-1921 in Kapfenberg-Hafendorf in Styria (Austria) and was a highly decorated officer of the Luftwaffe. Besides the Ehrenpokal he was also awarded the following awards:
08-08-1941 Combat Clasp for bombers in bronze
30-08-1941 Iron Cross second class
10-09-1941 Combat Clasp for bombers in silver
01-11-1941 Iron Cross first class
xx-xx-1941 Fliegerschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe mit Blitzbündel (Air Gunner Badge with Lightning) (1)
12-07-1942 Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe
12-12-1942 Deutsches kreuz in Gold (DKIG) (2) + (3)
Interesting is that Egger gave during a short leave of absence from the Eastfront at the end of 1941, when he visited his hometown Kapfenberg, an interview for the factory magazine of his former employer, Böhler Steel Works. This interview was published in the factory magazine (see the hereby included picture) and reads translated like this:
I was born on 9 June 1921 in Hafendorf. After finishing primary school i entered the factory school. There I was trained as a turner [operator of lathes – Gaston]. With 17.5 years I signed up for the Air Force; but joined first the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) and then the Luftnachrichtenabteilung (air news department). After three months recruitmenttime I joined the radio operator school and graduated after eight months from the radio operator exam. For five months I visited then the “Stuka-School” and was trained as a gunner. From there i joined with my pilot an “Ergänzungsstaffel” (advanced training squadron). Finally, at the beginning of 1941, we were deployed against England. I participated in five combat sorties against England. Then, as the battle against Rusland began, I was sent to this country. Our Stuka’s (=Sturzkampfflugzeug =JU87 = bomber!) were mostly used in Rusland to support tanks and advancing infantry units. Furthermore, we flew attacks on Russian tanks, tank destroyers, bunkers, batteries and positions. We also destroyed approaching supplies, bridges, Collones, railways and freight trains. Overall I flew 85 flights over enemy territory. Now – at the end of 1941 – I am 20.5 years old. (4)
As the above shows Josef Egger was already a highly decorated Luftwaffe member at a very young age!!! All this can be verified by the numbered sources i list at the bottom of this description.
Honour goblets are very hard to find, this one is in uncleaned condition and with great patination (very desirable!). Finding a picture and background on the owner is very rare!
Ps: Egger writes he first saw frontline service at the English Channel in early 1941 and participated in 5 combat sorties against England before being sent to the Soviet Union. This makes I./Stuka-Geschwader 77 and III./Stuka-Geschwader 77 the most likely units Egger may have been in although II./Stuka-Geschwader 1 and III./Stuka-Geschwader 1 are reasonable options too.
A little background on the Honour Goblet (From Wikipedia):
The Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe) was a Luftwaffe award established on 27 February 1940 by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Reich Minister of Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe. It was officially known as the Ehrenpokal “für Besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg”, or Honor Goblet “For Special Achievement in the Air War”. The award was given only to flying personnel (pilots and aircrew). Recipients’ named were published in the periodical Ehrenliste der Deutschen Luftwaffe (Honor List of the German Air Force). German archives indicate that approximately 58,000 were given “on paper”, but only 13-15,000 goblets were actually awarded according to the records. The first airman to receive the goblet was Johann Schalk on 21 August 1940.
The award was made to aircrew who had already been awarded the Iron Cross First Class but whose performance was not considered to merit the German Cross or Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. It was replaced by the Luftwaffe Honour Roll Clasp in January 1944. The actual goblet was produced in two materials, fine silver (German: Feinsilber) or also in German Silver (German: Alpaka) or Nickel silver. The size is about 200 mm tall x 100 mm in diameter. The goblet was produced in two pieces which were fitted together into one unit. The obverse depicts two eagles in mortal combat. while the reverse bears an Iron Cross in high relief. Oak leaves and acorns adorn the stem. The legend “Für Besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg” are formed into the base.
1. Photo of Egger. This photo clearly shows he is wearing the Fliegerschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe mit Blitzbündel (Air Gunner Badge with Lightning). This was awared to him somewhere in early 1940, after he completed his schooling and he was since 1 december 1939 in active service of the Luftwaffe.
2. Patzwall, K., & Scherzer .V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001.
4. Werkzeitung der Gebrüder Böhler & Co. A.G; 1943; 6. Jahrgang; Heft 5-7; p.30
(Digital pictures from the above sources added to the pictures of the pokal above here, you can also find them on the links as listed).