When selecting the photo and badge used for this post, I was struck by the similarity of the portrait of the man depicted on them. It’s like the badge was modeled after the flying soldier in the picture! Of course, the similarity is enhanced by the fact that only the face is visible, the details of the head are covered by the “haube”, the leather headgear. Even so, I think the similarity is striking.
I don’t know anything about the soldier in the photo. The badge is described everywhere as the badge of the flying school in Wiener Neustadt. I am insecure about this, because after completing a course or a school, it was not customary to give graduates anything other than a certificate of recognition in the circumstances of the Great War. Especially not such a large and presumably quite expensive badge! Another reason for doubt is the manufacturer. It is not visible on all copies, but I saw the signature of the Arkanzas Company of Budapest on several pieces that seemed original. I don’t think it’s likely that the Austrian flight school would have asked a firm in distant Budapest rather than its Vienna competitors who were also more sophisticated to make such an exclusive badge! The third objection is that this badge is very similar in shape and size to the qualification badge for pilots, although of course it differs in many details. The school would not have asked the manufacturer to make such a design.
In any case, both the photo and the badge are very beautiful, both are my big favorites!