A 1941 Luftwaffe Honor Goblet to Pilot Downed over France
A 1941 Luftwaffe Honor Goblet to Pilot Downed over France; An excellent example in silver, awarded to LEUTNANT JÜRGEN STEPUTAT AM 12. 6. 41. Marked on bottom "JOH. WAGNER & SOHN 835." and with clear silver hallmarks. Measures 205 mm in height by 100 mm in diameter, no dents, excellent patina, and extremely fine. Footnote: Jürgen Steputat was born on January 1, 1912. Steputat was assigned to KG 30's Eprobungsstaffel, which conducted flight tests on new aircraft and was responsible for service evaluation, development of tactics, and provision of crew cadres for the first operational units. During the war, Steputat and his crew are credited with sinking 100,000+ tons of shipping. As a German bomber ace, Steputat is fifth on the list, graded by tonnage sunk. Leutnant, Kreigsoffizier (Kr.O.) Steputat was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, on December 20, 1941, as a Bomber Pilot with Operational Test Command, Bomber Wing 30 (Flugzeugführer i.d. Erprobungsstaffel I. / Kampfgeschwader (KG 30)), one of seventeen recipients of the award in this squadron. Steputat was killed in action near Santec, France, a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France, on September 8, 1941, at the age of 29. BEFORE HE DIED Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30) was an elite Luftwaffe bomber squadron during the Second World War, commanded by Werner Baumbach, for Tactical and Direct Ground Support. It was established on November 15, 1939 in Greifswald in northeast Germany. I Gruppe was formed on September 1st, II Gruppe on September 23rd and III Gruppe on January 1, 1940, based in Greifswald then Barth. IV Gruppe was formed Oct 27, 1940 as Erg.Sta./KG 30, and in April 1941 was increased to Gruppe strength. KG 30 was equipped with the Junkers Ju 88 and was initially trained as an anti-shipping and maritime attack unit. In October 1939, it attacked shipping in the Firth of Forth off Scotland. II./KG 30 operated under X. Fliegerkorps for Operation Weserübung, the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway. The unit's Ju 88s engaged Allied shipping as its main target. On April 9, 1940, in cooperation with high-level bombing Heinkel He 111s of KG 26, Ju 88s of II./KG 30 dive-bombed and damaged the battleship HMS Rodney and sank the destroyer HMS Gurkha. The unit lost four Ju 88s in the action, the highest single loss of KG 30 throughout the campaign. On June 9, 1940, Kampfgeschwader 30 took over Chièvres Air Base in Belgium. On June 17, 1940 bombers from II./KG 30 sank RMS Lancastria off St Nazaire as she evacuated troops during Operation Ariel, killing some 5,800 Allied personnel. On October 15, 1940, III./KG 30 was re-designated Ergänzungskampfgruppe 6 (EK Gr.) (a bomber replacement and training group) and a new III./KG 30 was formed in Amsterdam-Schiphol from III./KG 4. AFTER HE DIED In September 1942, KG 30 was active against Arctic convoy PQ 18. Attacking PQ 18, the group carried out a massed torpedo attack known as the Golden Comb, developed as an anti-convoy measure. This was initially successful, sinking several ships, though the group suffered heavy losses. On November 23, 1944 Kampfgeschwader 30 was re-designated as Kampfgeschwader(J)30, converting to a fighter unit. KG(J)30 was to be equipped with the Me 262A in early 1945 but none were delivered due to production shortages. KG 30(J) were alternately supplied with the BF 109G. KG(J)30 was disbanded on April 18, 1945 by order from IX.Fliegerkorps(J).