Ranks and insignia of the ''Luftwaffe'' (1935–45)

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

Rank insignia

Insignia Title Approximate US [1] & Commonwealth
equivalents during World War II
(Flight suit)
General officer ranks
Reichsmarschall General of the Armies No equivalent
OF-10[2] Generalfeldmarschall General of the Army Marshal of the RAF
OF-9 Generaloberst General Air Chief Marshal
OF-8 General of the branch Lieutenant General Air Marshal
OF-7 Generalleutnant Major General Air Vice-Marshal
OF-6 Generalmajor Brigadier General Air Commodore
Officer ranks
OF-5 Oberst Colonel Group Captain
OF-4 Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
OF-3 Major Major Squadron Leader
OF-2 Hauptmann Captain Flight Lieutenant
OF-1a Oberleutnant First Lieutenant Flying Officer
OF-1 Leutnant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
OR-8[3] StabsfeldwebelMaster SergeantWarrant Officer
OR-7 Oberfähnrich Flight cadet Acting pilot officer
OberfeldwebelTechnical SergeantFlight Sergeant
OR-6 Feldwebel Staff Sergeant Sergeant
OR-5 Fähnrich Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
Unterfeldwebel Sergeant Corporal
OR-4 FahnenjunkerFlight CadetOfficer Cadet
Enlisted ranks
OR-3 Stabsgefreiter from 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Hauptgefreiter until 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
ObergefreiterPrivate First ClassLeading Aircraftman
OR-2 GefreiterPrivate First ClassAircraftman 1st Class
OR-1 FliegerPrivateAircraftman 2nd Class

Luftwaffe war badges

Combined Pilots-Observation Badge Pilot's Badge Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge
Anti-Aircraft Flak Battle Badge Tank Combat Badge of the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe
Observer Badge

Luftwaffe flying clasps

Luftwaffe Flying Clasps

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


  2. The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"
  3. The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
  • 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 articles

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