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eMedals-A Luftwaffe Honour Goblet to Knight’s Cross Recipient Hauptmann Wilhelm Sell

Item: G30080

A Luftwaffe Honour Goblet to Knight’s Cross Recipient Hauptmann Wilhelm Sell


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A Luftwaffe Honour Goblet to Knight’s Cross Recipient Hauptmann Wilhelm Sell

A textbook example of a fine quality manufacture Luftwaffe Honour Goblet (Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe) to Knight’s Cross Recipient, Hauptmann Wilhelm Sell. Manufactured in Alpaca “Feinsilber” by Johann Wagner & Sohn, as marked on the underside of the goblet. Three-piece construction, consisting of the bowl, stem, and base. The bowl with a outward-crimped rim, with a textured wall, depicting two eagles in combat and an Iron Cross 1939 First Class in high relief. The stem with a ribbon depicting oak leaves, and engraved “Hauptmann Wilhelm Sell” directly beneath. The base is marked “Für Besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg”. It measures 206 mm x 98 mm, in extremely fine condition with light, even, and very attractive patina. The case is a modern rendition, and is constructed of extremely thick pressed paper with a textured faux leather (leatherette) exterior. The interior of the lid is lined with snow-white satin, while the the bed is recessed to fit the goble perfectly. The case features a functional “button latch” on the outside, with a perfectly intact interior fabric hinge cover and two functional exterior metal hinges. It measures 263 mm x 155 mm x 143 mm, and is in absolutely mint condition. The goblet is accompanied a signed modern photograph (148 mm x 105 mm) depicting a portrait of Wilhelm Sell, with a personal note on the reverse, reading “Mit besten Wünschen”, with a stamp of his personal information directly beneath it. Also included is a copy of the signed portrait, as well as three other photographs of his Staffel marching and saluting.


Footnote: Wilhelm Sell was born on June 15, 1910 in Amberg of Braunschweig. Sell joined the Luftwaffe in the mid 1930’s, achieving the rank of Lieutenant in 1937, and Senior Lieutenant on August 1, 1938. After the outbreak of the Second War, Sell was deployed to the Aufklärungsgruppe 11 (AG 11 = Reconnaissance Group), responsible for tactical and photo reconnaissance. The group participated in the Poland campaign and the attack on France. Recognizing his potential, Sell’s superiors gave him his first command in August of 1940, when he became the Squadron Leader of the 4th Squadron of Aufklärungsgruppe 32, which flew missions over England. This command lasted until Operation Barbarossa, Germany’s attack on Russia. In July of 1941, Sell was stationed at the Eastern Front, since November in Barvenkovo (Barvinkove, Ukraine). Here he was wounded in action on November 23 in a dog fight. However, the severity is unknown. It could not have been too serious though, since in February 1942 he was already flying missions again, this time based in Dnepropetrovsk (southern Ukraine). He had been promoted to Captain and was the Squadron Leader of the 1st Squadron of Aufklärungsgruppe 10. As such he received the Honour Goblet of the Luftwaffe on April 16, and he was awarded the German Cross in Gold later that year, on December 3. His actions earned him the post of Commander of the Nahaufklärungsgruppe 5 (Near Reconnaissance Group) in April 1943, which from then on was unofficially known as NAG “Sell” instead of NAG 5. That same year he was also promoted to the rank of Major. Sell received the Knight’s Cross on September 5, 1944, his highest achievement German military. It is unknown if Sell spent any time as a POW after the end of the war. However, he was drawn back to his former field of activity in 1956 when he joined the post-war German army, the Bundeswehr, which had been established in 1955. He served until his retirement in 1968 when he held the rank of Colonel. Sell died on January 14, 1998 in Munich.

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