Ranks and insignia of the Luftwaffe (1935–1945)

The ranks of the Luftwaffe were similar to other branches of the Wehrmacht.

Rank insigniaEdit

Insignia Title Approximate equivalents during World War II
Shoulder Collar Sleeve
(Flight suit)
US[1] UK[2]
General officer ranks
    N/A Reichsmarschall General of the Armies N/A
      Generalfeldmarschall General of the Air Force Marshal of the Royal Air Force
      Generaloberst General Air Chief Marshal
      General der Waffengattung Lieutenant General Air Marshal
      Generalleutnant Major General Air Vice-Marshal
      Generalmajor Brigadier General Air Commodore
Officer ranks
      Oberst Colonel Group Captain
      Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
      Major Major Squadron Leader
      Hauptmann Captain Flight Lieutenant
      Oberleutnant First Lieutenant Flying Officer
      Leutnant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
      Stabsfeldwebel Sergeant major Warrant Officer
    Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel Flight cadet Acting pilot officer
  Oberfeldwebel Master Sergeant N/A
      Feldwebel Technical Sergeant Flight Sergeant
      Fahnenjunker-Unterfeldwebel Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
  Unterfeldwebel Staff Sergeant Sergeant
      Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
  Unteroffizier Sergeant Corporal
Enlisted ranks
      Stabsgefreiter Senior Corporal Leading Aircraftman
(used until 1944)
Senior Corporal Leading Aircraftman
    Obergefreiter Corporal Leading Aircraftman
    Gefreiter Acting Corporal Leading Aircraftman
  N/A Flieger Private Aircraftman 2nd Class

Luftwaffe war badgesEdit

Pilot's Badge Observer Badge Combined Pilots-Observation Badge
Tank Combat Badge of the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge
Glider Pilot Badge Radio Operator Badge and Air Gunner Badge Sea Battle Badge [de]
Anti-Aircraft Flak Battle Badge Aircrew Badge Flyer's Commemorative Badge

Luftwaffe flying claspsEdit

Luftwaffe Flying Clasps were awarded in Bronze, Silver, and Gold with upgrade possible to include diamonds. Pennants suspended from the clasp indicated the number of missions carried out in a given type of aircraft. Flying Clasps were issued for missions completed in the following Luftwaffe aircraft:

  • Day Fighters
  • Night Fighters
  • Long-Range Night Fighters
  • Heavy Fighters
  • Air to Ground Support Fighters
  • Bombers
  • Reconnaissance
  • Transport and Glider
Luftwaffe Flying Clasps


  1. ^ War Department (15 March 1945). "Chapter IX: Uniforms, Insignia, and Individual Equipment". War Department Technical Manual TM-E 30-451. Plate XI–XII.
  2. ^ CIA (24 August 1999). "Records Integration Title Book" (PDF). p. 18. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2008). The Rise of the Wehrmacht: The German Armed Forces and World War II, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-275-99659-8.
  • Ruffner, Kevin Conley (1990). Luftwaffe Field Divisions 1941-45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-100-7.

See also main articlesEdit