Ranks and insignia of the Luftwaffe (1935–1945)

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

Rank insignia

Flag of NATO.svg
Insignia Title Approximate US [1] & Commonwealth
equivalents during World War II
Shoulder Collar Sleeve,
(Flight suit)
General officer ranks
Luftwaffe epaulette Reichsmarschall Luftwaffe collar tabs Reichsmarschall 3D Reichsmarschall General of the Armies No equivalent
OF-10 Luftwaffe epaulette Generalfeldmarschall Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalfeldmarschall 3D Luftwaffe paraman Generalfeldmarschall 3D Generalfeldmarschall General of the Army Marshal of the RAF
OF-9 Luftwaffe epaulette Generaloberst Luftwaffe collar tabs Generaloberst 3D Luftwaffe paraman Generaloberst 3D Generaloberst General Air Chief Marshal
OF-8 WMacht Lw Gerneral 1945 Luftwaffe collar tabs General der Flieger 3D Luftwaffe paraman General der Flieger 3D General of the branch Lieutenant General Air Marshal
OF-7 Luftwaffe epaulette Generalleutnant Wehrmacht Lw -Generalleutnant 1945collar Luftwaffe paraman Generalleutnant 3D Generalleutnant Major General Air Vice-Marshal
OF-6 Luftwaffe epaulette Generalmajor Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalmajor 3D Luftwaffe paraman Generalmajor 3D Generalmajor Brigadier General Air Commodore
Officer ranks
OF-5 Wehrmach Lw Oberst 1945h Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberst 3D Luftwaffe paraman Oberst 3D Oberst Colonel Group Captain
OF-4 Luftwaffe epaulette Oberstleutnant Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberstleutnant 3D Luftwaffe paraman Oberstleutnant 3D Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
OF-3 Luftwaffe epaulette Major Luftwaffe collar tabs Major 3D Luftwaffe paraman Major 3D Major Major Squadron Leader
OF-2 Luftwaffe epaulette Hauptmann Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptmann 3D Luftwaffe paraman Hauptmann 3D Hauptmann Captain Flight Lieutenant
OF-1a Luftwaffe epaulette Oberleutnant Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberleutnant 3D Luftwaffe paraman Oberleutnant 3D Oberleutnant First Lieutenant Flying Officer
OF-1 Luftwaffe epaulette Leutnant Luftwaffe collar tabs Leutnant 3D Luftwaffe paraman Leutnant 3D Leutnant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
OR-8 Luftwaffe epaulette Stabsfeldwebel Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsfeldwebel 3D Luftwaffe paraman Stabsfeldwebel 3D Stabsfeldwebel Master Sergeant Warrant Officer
OR-7 Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberfeldwebel 3D Luftwaffe paraman Oberfeldwebel 3D Oberfähnrich Flight cadet Acting pilot officer
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel Technical Sergeant Flight Sergeant
OR-6 Luftwaffe epaulette Feldwebel Luftwaffe collar tabs Feldwebel 3D Luftwaffe paraman Feldwebel 3D Feldwebel Staff Sergeant Sergeant
OR-5a Luftwaffe epaulette Faehnrich Luftwaffe collar tabs Unterfeldwebel 3D Luftwaffe paraman Unterfeldwebel 3D Fähnrich Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
Luftwaffe epaulette Unterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel Sergeant Corporal
OR-5b Luftwaffe collar tabs Unteroffizier 3D Luftwaffe paraman Unteroffizier 3D Fahnenjunker Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
Luftwaffe epaulette Unteroffizier Unteroffizier Corporal Corporal
Enlisted ranks
OR-3 Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsgefreiter 3D Luftwaffe - Stabsgefreiter Stabsgefreiter from 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptgefreiter 3D Luftwaffe - Hauptgefreiter Hauptgefreiter until 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe collar tabs Obergefreiter 3D 2 Luftwaffe - Obergefreiter Obergefreiter Private First Class Leading Aircraftman
OR-2 Luftwaffe collar tabs Gefreiter 3D Luftwaffe - Gefreiter Gefreiter Private First Class Aircraftman 1st Class
OR-1 Luftwaffe collar tabs Flieger 3D Flieger Private Aircraftman 2nd Class

Luftwaffe war badges

Combined Pilots-Observation Badge Pilot's Badge Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge Anti-Aircraft Flak Battle Badge
Fallschirmschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe
Flak-Kampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe
Tank Combat Badge of the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe Observer Badge Aircrew Badge
Panzerkampfabzeichen Luftwaffe 57er
Luftwaffe Ground-Attack Badge
Luftwaffe Navigator
Glider Pilot Badge Radio Operator Badge Air Gunner Badge Sea Battle badge
Segelflugzeugführerabzeichen II
Operatore radio mitragliere
Flyer's Commemorative 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


  • 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

Ranks, uniforms and insignia of Nazi Germany
Ranks and insignia
Corps colour
Military ranks and insignia by country
Post-Soviet states
Commonwealth of Nations


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