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Joined: Feb 2002
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Forgive me if this is common knowledge or if this has been discussed here before, but I bought a couple of these painted steel gadgets from a 101st Airborne vet who said he got them in Normandy. He also had no idea what the purpose of them was.
The other is square and painted red, as for FLAK troops, and also has a Luft type gull cut-out of it.
This yellow one I assume has something to do with flying personnel and it measures in diameter between a old US 1/2 dollar and a silver dollar.
Since buying those from the vet about 20 years ago, I have also seen them for sale in militaria shops in France.
Wha the heck ARE they???

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Can't tell you what they are for sure, but they are always sold on e-bay as "permission to fly" tokens, eg for wounded men. There is always some for a sale on e-bay.

Hope this helps;

Regards,
Steve

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Don't know if they are real or not but the eBay seller that sells items found/dug in Stalingrad doesn't exactly always tell the truth... Oh he does offer many good items,,buttons, helmet bands etc. But he's sold many a bad ID tag, ring and badge. Usually offered as a found group,,a bad badge or ID tag with a few real buttons and pips etc..
He usually has these Luft. tags for auction.

A few things: I know they fake them because I've met guys that make them and other pieces in East Europe this summer.
Question still remains on some of them, are they fantasy or reproductions? AND can the difference be distinguished? From what I've seen I say no. There isn't a person alive that could tell the difference between a copy or an original[?]...If you get one in a group for free, great otherwise I wouldn't pay a plug nickel for them......

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Gaspare-
I posted some related comments on the Armed Forces Uniforms forum.
As to these being dug-up, my vet-acquired pieces are made of a very ferrous metal and are pretty rusty, even without having been buried for 1/2 a century.
Given that, I suspct that any which were dug-up would be either falling apart with disintegration, or at least have no trace of the original paint still remaining on them.
At best, they would be barely recognizable and would bear little resemblance to the specimen I posted above. (BTW the back side of that one is considerably rustier than the prettier side illustrated).
I have NOT seen the auctions where dealers embellished the circumstances of recovering them or added their own fanciful speculations of what their purpose was.
But I am firmly convinced that whatever their purpose, these things WERE manufactured and did exist in the pre-1946 Third Reich. Who would've conjured-up and created these things, solely as repros for the collectors' market?
When you think about it, they are so cheap and unattractive, they had to have some basis in reality. Vintage examples with vet provenance like mine, do exist. We need to talk to a Luftwaffe veteran Supply Sgt I suspect, to get the real purpose for the existence of these metal tags.

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Up until NOW ...I had totally written these off as garbage because of the Stalingrad and other BS stories attached to them.
But here's the difference now ...because of your being able to make a direct connection from a Vets group that you trust Mark , a new Door has opened and I would consider the poss of these being War Time produced.
We have to trust our fellow Collectors ..so if you say the grouping was good , I'll take your word for it Mark and keep an open mind.
Now the question is ..how to find out what they were used for.
It must be something simple and an application where they could be re-used since I still don't think they'd be willing to waste raw material for a one time use.
Also ...if there were hundreds of thousands of these made , we'd have seen more of them by now and probably even some "Trench Art" made out of them ..and we don't.

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Thanks to Mike (and others) for keeping an open mind about this subject.
Like I said, nothing that Harry P. showed me in his bring-back effects bore any resemblance to anything made after the war.
I've gone down into the dungeon and located two additional metal gadgets I got from Harry at the same time. Will attach them now, for your further consideration.

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I asked a neighbour once about these types of tags, and he in passing just mentioned he saw them attached to ammunition.He was a Luft ordinance tech in Norway and worked for Bombardier after emigrating to Canada..

If he is correct, they may be colour coded as per type of ammunition, fuze or designation..

I would possibly lean towards colour coding for fuze type, as they were different on ammunition meant for Luft use vis Heer, as they had similiar types, but different specifications for different applications..

After their initial useage? Could have been used for everything from laundry to dog collar tags.


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