Today we are offering a fine silver cup that measures 5 ½” tall x 2 5/8″ x 1 5/8.” It is a good-sized cup, considerably larger than many we have offered. At any rate, the cup is large enough to display a full-sized Commemorative Prussian Pilot Badge on the side. This was the ONLY cutout Prussian badge. The badge was intended for pilots who were no longer on active duty. It was originally created during WW I when pilots were no longer able to fly due to health issues and/or wounds. Herman Göring appeared in photographs from the early-to-mid 1930’s wearing such a badge (prior to the Luftwaffe’s creation in February 1935). It then became common for officers who were in the Luftwaffe and no longer flew to wear the Commemorative Pilot Badge or the Observer Badge on their tunics. The cup’s reverse features a handwritten inscription comprised of four fellow pilots’ signatures (Kredel, Krogmann, Luchsland, and Weiss). Below the four signatures is another inscription as detailed below.
“Dem Angelroth Enkel
zu seiner Taufe am 7. 1 1962″
(This refers to Arthur Angelroth’s first grandchild, Jens-Uwe Angelroth,
and the youngster’s 1 July 1962 baptism date].
The cup’s bottom has sustained two small dents. The number “28272″ is engraved on the cup’s bottom (part of the manufacturer’s identification), along with the .800, the half moon and the Hohenzollern Crown that were part of the Reich’s silver fitness program. [The latter were mandated by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1885]. The initials “WTB” appear to the .800’s right, which belonged to the jeweler who produced this fine cup.
As we learn in the accompanying research materials, the cup was given to Angelroth in 1927 by the four previously-mentioned pilots. They had flown together during WW I and were employees of the Junkers Aircraft Company. In addition, they flew during the 1919 Freikorps Period as part of the elite aviation unit Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg. [The unit was commanded by the Navy’s leading WW I ace, Gotthard Sachsenberg (1891-1961). During the war, Sachsenberg commanded a naval geschwader (a full wing of approximately fifty airplanes in three-to-four jastas). His WW I unit flew on the Western Front, often fighting with British naval air units. Sachsenberg shot down thirty-one airplanes and received the Orden Pour le Mérite. His Freikorps unit flew against Communist forces during that very confused period].
Herbert Angelroth was born in Prussia in 1891. In 1913, he enlisted in the Imperial German Army’s Füsilier-Regiment Generalfeldmarschall Graf Blumenthal (Magdeburgisches) Nr 36. The proud, old regiment was founded in 1815 and attached to the IV. Armeekorps. He was promoted to NCO in March 1914, months prior to WW I. Once the war broke out, he was assigned to Infanterie-Regiment Fürst Leopold Anhalt-Dessau (1. Magdeburgisches) Nr 26. [This regiment had been raised in 1813 and saw substantial action in the Napoleonic Wars]. Angelroth was promoted to Leutnant der Reserve in January 1915. He was assigned to aviation duties in 1917. He served as an observer beginning in July 1918, continuing through the war’s end. He mustered out of the Reichswehr as an Oberleutnant der Reserve in 1920, following his service with Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg. Angelroth joined Junkers in 1923, and served as a financial manager until 1932. The other four men were test pilots with Junkers (all had been WW I pilots). In fact, Kredel was another Navy pilot who had served under Sachsenberg in one of his Marine Jastas. Angelroth joined the new Luftwaffe as a hauptmann. He saw steady promotion, ultimately becoming an oberst attached to Luftgau XI. He was killed in a 1943 car crash. [It is probable that his widow or son made arrangements to present the cup to Jens-Uwe Angelroth in 1962].
Our offering includes a letter of transmittal from Jens-Uwe. [We seldom get to offer items that come so directly through the family. It is a real pleasure to share this with you]. The grandson’s printed letter is dated 15 February 1982. The letter’s translation mentions medals, however, those medals are NOT included in our offering, whatever they were. Herr Angelroth includes some biographical information in his letter about the four pilots whose signatures appear on the 1927 silver cup. The documents included in the group pertain to Herbert Angelroth and his WW I and WW II military careers. They are listed below.
1). Promotion Patent to Leutnant der Reserve on 27 January 1915. Please remember: Kaiser Wilhelm II only signed patents for the ranks of hauptmann and above. This paper and its print-quality are also quite poor compared to the more elaborate Wilhelm-II-signed documents.
2). Telegraph Announcing 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class Award. The document is very fragile, and has been folded several times in years past. A partial stamp on the document deals with the telegraph fees. The year 1918 is indicated, but no month or day.
3). Hamburg Hanseatic Cross Award Document. This document displays the Free State of Hamburg’s Coat-of-Arms. The award date is 21 November 1921. [This is the first time I have seen this award being given so LATE after WW I].
4). Entrance into Stahlhelm Bund Award Document. This was the largest veteran organization for WW I German soldiers. By 1930, the Stahlhelm Bund was a full-blown paramilitary organization numbering 500,000 men. [By comparison, the Reichsheer was limited to 100,000 men as mandated by the Treaty of Versailles]. When Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, the Bund’s leader joined Hitler’s organization, and the bulk of the Bund was absorbed into the SA. Angelroth joined the Stahlhelm Bund in 1923. The document recognizes ten years of service to the Bund.
5). Many Photocopied Photographs from Angelroth’s Life. Although they are photocopies, they are quite clear with readily visible details.
6). Six Photos of Angelroth from 1914 through 1918. They include the times he was with Füsilier-Regiment Nr 36 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 36.
7). Photograph of Angelroth in Stahlhelm Bund Uniform. This dates from 1923 to 1933, when he was a member of the Leipzig (Saxony) detachment.
8). Photograph of Angelroth’s 1927 Marriage to Annelies Casselmann. The wedding party and guests comprise a large number of people. His four friends presented him the silver cup for his marriage. While they are not identified, the four pilots probably are in the photo.
9). 1943 Photograph of Angelroth and Two Pilots. Both pilots wear the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. One of the men flew night fighters and had fifty-one confirmed victories before he died in an air crash.
10). Photocopies of Several Documents Pertaining to WW I AND WW II.
a). The officer’s service document that shows his service in WW I, as both an enlisted man and an officer. It shows his mustering out of the army in 1919.
b). A copy of his promotion document to NCO in March 1914.
c). A copy of a document from 1917 posting him to the Hannover Air Service Training School.
d). Photocopies of six pages from a January 1918 document that describes Angelroth’s training at Observer Training School and his individual accomplishments during the period.
e). A three-page document’s photocopy from 4. Armee representing Flieger-Abteilung (A) 258 that recaps Angelroth’s training and his assignment to a squadron in July 1918.
f). A one-page document from the Reichsheer mentioning the Balkankreuz Award for Angelroth’s service with Kampfgeschwader Sachsenberg.
g). Copy of a document from the Ministry of the Reichsheer. The September 1920 document allowed him to carry/wear his uniform from Infanterie-Regiment Nr 26 in the neutral zone.
h). A copy of Angelroth’s promotion patent to the rank of hauptmann and entry into the Luftwaffe, signed by Hermann Göring.
i). A copy of Angelroth’s promotion document from hauptmann to major. The document carries both Adolf Hitler’s and Hermann Göring’s signatures.
j). A copy of a document for the Luftgau XI Eisernes Ehrenschild award. It was signed by a General der Flieger in November 1942.
k). A copy of the War Service Cross 1st Class with Swords (Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwerten) award document. The document was awarded on 30 January 1943, and signed by both Hermann Göring and a General der Flieger.
This stupendous wealth of research material makes the silver cup come alive. It would make an excellent addition to an aviation collection.