Military Motorcycles Motorcycles & Scooters have been used by the military since they became available early in the 20th century. He converted a truck into sleeping quarters for an officer, built a still to fortify wine, and fashioned sandals from old tires for shoeless Italian children. Rugged, reliable, and great for cross-country travel, it was later adopted by other service branches for messenger work. He told them the Germans knew he was nearby, so they needed to exit  quietly. Within an hour of the decision to strengthen Canadian forces in the Mediterranean in the fall of 1943, DRs were speeding orders across Britain to more than 200 units, delivering plans and orders for mobilization of tens of thousands of troops to Italy and North Africa by January 1944. They learned to ride safely over all types of terrain in all weather conditions. World War II was a global war that was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. Reg Cochrane “was the best Mr. Fixit and scrounger in the Canadian Army and he sure made life more comfortable for everyone,” recalled DR Harry Watts. As far back as 1916, sidecar-equipped motorcycles had been used by the United States during its attempts to hunt down Pancho Villa and his forces. It could maneuver well in small spaces thanks to a reverse gear. So I turned back and all I could see of the three MPs was one armband…[they] were all blown to pieces. Home » Military History » Army » Motorcycle messengers. A more powerful engine drove both the rear wheel and the wheel of the sidecar. ... LEGO WWII 1st Battle of El Alamein | Philly Brick Fest 2019 - Duration: 6:48. Motorcycle formation for press coverage of 1st Armored Division, Observation Post 6, Ft. Knox, KY, 24-27 March 1941. There were probably 300, 400 casualties. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. Buy It Now +C $19.75 shipping. Even so, hundreds of DRs were killed by enemy or accident each year. One of several similar bikes created for the Czechoslovakian army in the … In the UK 'despatch rider' is also a term used for a motorcycle courier. DRs were often vital to operations. Ranger Battalions were issued 6 motorcycles for messenger duty during WW2. “A total of 52 DRs passed through the section during this period, but we were rarely ever up to full strength of 35.”. Some wore wide kidney belts to limit injury from juddering over rough terrain. “I rode the bike as far as I could, the tires all fell off eventually and I was riding on the rim and I was still going. Every day was a close call, let’s put it that way.”. One of several similar bikes created for the Czechoslovakian army in the 1930s, the single-seater CZ 175 wasn’t a powerful bike. I wore them out.”. During times of war, when telecommunications were limited and insecure dispatch riders or “despatch” riders, a military messenger on motorcycle were used by the armed forces to deliver urgent orders and messages between headquarters and military units. A messenger takes aim behind his Type III 42WLA during manoeuvers, late 1942. About 700,000 motorcycles were produced for the Allies. Vega Helmets Unisex-Adult 7817-054 Warrior Motorcycle Helmet w/Sunshield for Men & Women, Adjustable Size Dial DOT Half Face Skull Cap for Bike Cruiser Chopper Moped (Patriotic Flag Graphic, Large) 4.6 out of 5 stars 2,341. The main duty was to deliver messages that could not be trusted to unreliable or insecure telephone or wireless transmissions. By 1943, British army motorcycle fatalities fell from 200 to 50 a month. “Fortunately, the tank driver, he saw it and he just turned off one track. With a speed of 65mph, it was one of the faster bikes of the war. It was dangerous work. I went for miles and miles until the spokes of my bike were coming through the rim. Meant to make airborne troops more mobile, it was small enough to be packed up in a container and dropped by parachute. Eventually they were relieved, and another dispatch rider came by and took his packet to its destination. Ordered to take information to an American hospital, he came under enemy fire. They were taught how to repair their bikes in the field, read maps and find their way in the dark, on unmarked roads, without headlights, dodging similarly blind vehicles. Several different motorcycles were utilised by riders, but it was the British-made Triumph that was used most frequently throughout the First World War. “Less than 30 seconds [later], this ungodly explosion went off, and then this piece of metal about four feet long landed about six feet from me…. “The war was over and…you forgot about things,” he told Legion Magazine. The machine gun, the book wryly notes, was good for opening wine barrels. The Type 97 was sometimes fielded as a solo bike, sometimes with a light sidecar. He served as a motorcycle messenger in WWII. He converted a truck into sleeping quarters for an officer, built a still to fortify wine, and fashioned sandals from old tires for shoeless Italian children. He served as a motorcycle messenger in WWII. You had to be scared. Even before World War II, the motorcycle was seen as a vital part of the military. On the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in August 1942, DRs were tasked with creating as much havoc ashore as possible, says WWP. But Allen could not. A dispatch rider’s badge from the Second World War. Chick Owens, who ended the war with the RCCS, narrowly escaped death from a V-2 bomb in Antwerp, Belgium. $84.99 $ 84. 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Legion Magazine is published six times a year in English with a French insert. An Indian dispatch rider in Cyprus, 3 March 1942 A despatch rider (or dispatch) is a military messenger, mounted on horse or motorcycle (and occasionally in Egypt during World War I, on camels). All hell broke loose.”. Staudinger climbed on the back of the motorcycle and took off with the German messenger. Details about Washington Terminal Annex Seattle 1942 machine 10c Motorcycle Messenger Special. When Indian and USO reps approached Brian Klock, about building a one-off bike for their Scout Inspired Custom Series, he knew exactly what direction to take. 100% Upvoted. Top Rated Seller Top Rated Seller. “I just laid the bike all the way over and slipped under the wire.” He also reports near disasters from other booby traps, especially oil or horse dung spread on paved roads. Courses were so tough, recruits said, that it was battle—without enemy bullets. Early the next morning, I felt something tugging at my boots. Gas tank was punctured, the tires were punctured, the fenders and everything. got a good scare riding in a sidecar during training with an instructor. Early the next morning, I felt something tugging at my boots. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could keep a tenacious DR from completing his duty. ECS is a motorcycle messenger registered process server working for attorneys, medical industry and entertainment to deliver results. They thought I was dead, so they were trying to take my boots.” They scattered when he stirred. What DRs did not have was a good means of self-defence. CZ 175. Motorcycle messenger delivers to a moving M3A1 Scout Car, Ft. Riley, KS, April 1942. It was a group of Italian women. © 2020 Legion Magazine. “All of a sudden…he’d tip the sidecar up and over you’d go…. The job of messenger boy in the first instance obviously involved learning to ride a motor-cycle. They were issued revolvers in England, which were replaced by Sten guns or Thompson machine guns in Europe. Using excuses like flat tires or broken chains, they could wangle extra free time to visit friends, explore the countryside or scrounge for food, equipment or supplies. Staudinger asked the messenger in a friendly manner if he could find some gasoline for the platoon. Asap Animation. The Norton 633 was a more powerful version of the 16H. A German motorcycle messenger wearing his rain gear, to keep dirt and dust off his uniform. This Triumph BD 250 was a German army messenger bike in world war II with the possibility to mount a side car and a shift lever next to the sidecar mounting, so the soldier in the sidecar could shift, even if the driver was disabled. My bike was literally shot out from under me. report. Goggles were also unpopular, in fine or foul weather. Light and maneuverable, they displaced horses as mounts for scouts and messengers as well as for military police and other similar duties. Epic Militaria specialise in WW2 German, British and American Militaria, including WWII Uniforms, Equipment, Boots, Helmets, Caps, Badges and Insignia, including Military, Army Surplus and Outdoor products. level 1. Harley-Davidsons used in England were swapped for lighter bikes after D-Day. Following political instability build-up in Europe from 1930, the Germans, which aimed to dominate Europe, attacked Poland on 1 September 1939, marking the start of World War II. $22.00 + shipping . The Germans dismissed Canadian combat prowess with propagandist Lord Haw Haw’s oft-quoted jeer: “Just give them a bottle of whisky and a motorcycle and they will kill themselves.”. It was not unusual for a DR to make a run and return to find his unit had upped sticks. In November 1941, just after Lapointe awoke in hospital with a fractured skull, the British government made helmets mandatory for military motorcyclists. https://t.co/6pbxbt3bPF. “The sound was just terrific,” Allen recalled in a Memory Project video. To this end, its components were built to withstand being dropped – if need be, the ignition could even work without the battery. They had to be prepared to go without sleep, to sleep rough, to miss meals and to get themselves out of trouble. They were useful for messengers and reconnaissance troops, especially in fast-moving formations. C $26.33. He had orders to find a medical team stranded behind enemy lines in an area of France about to be bombarded by the Allies. The ubiquitous German motorcycle messenger (Kradmelder) from Stab Artillerie-Regiment 110 in the Eastern Front with his DKW NZ 350, wearing his rubberized coat (Kradmantel) that has been wrapped and buttoned around his legs to keep dirt and dust off his uniform. “Go down the highway at least two or three, miles before we rev and get the hell out of here.”. The FN Company in Liège had been selling civilian motorbikes to the Belgian Army since World War I. In part of the same action, DR Bob Creighton of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment was taken prisoner when German troops seized the French hospital in which he was recovering from a motorcycle accident. But he hadn’t completely escaped from two-wheeled duty, as there were frequent DR shortages. It is believed that DRs were in every major operation involving Canadian land forces (except for the 1943 operation on Kiska, an island in the Aleutians off Alaska). DRs had to deliver their packets as fast as possible (there were no speed limits) over the shortest possible route. Legionnaires get discounted cell phone plans with SimplyConnect! ... (military motorcycle messenger). at the best … “All of a sudden…he’d tip the sidecar up and over you’d go…. “Independence as a DR was great,” said Aisbitt. We’d get down the road…and he asked, ‘Were you scared?’ I says, ‘Scared? Its lights were changed from the civilian model to meet military standards and it was fitted with special brackets to carry a submachine gun. Have you got any toilet paper?’ He said, ‘Well, I’m glad you were scared because if you told me you weren’t scared, you’d have never passed this course. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could keep a tenacious DR from completing his duty. “If you went into a bomb crater, you couldn’t lift the Harley out, but the smaller machine, you could pick it up and get out all by yourself,” Alex Alton of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada recalled. A slight modification of an existing civilian vehicle, the Harley-Davidson WLA was a popular bike among the American armed forces, who used it for police work, reconnaissance, and communications. Hutt of the RCCS was killed in 1940 in a motorcycle accident during the curtailed attempt by the British to create a diversion to draw some of the heat away from the French Army after Dunkirk. 5. “Of the 12 who started in our group, only four completed the course and two quit once we got overseas.”. We’d get down the road…and he asked, ‘Were you scared?’ I says, ‘Scared? Motorcycle messenger at the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) training centre, Camberley, 1941. It served in the same roles, again carrying either a mortar or a machine gun mounted on the sidecar. You’re never going to have anything more dangerous between your legs that one of them motorcycles.’”, “We took the convoy” with two or three DRs front and back, said Nick Dronyk in a Memory Project interview. The underground bunker, used for communications during the war, is home to the 31 rare and restored vintage motorcycles he now owns. Armed motorcyclist serving as a messenger for his platoon of the mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942. But, notes WWP, “the Sten gun had a reputation for discharging occasionally when the motorcycle hit a bump, and a rider under fire usually couldn’t afford the time to stop and set up the Thomson.” DRs had to rely on speed and agility. But the thing that set Canadian DRs apart, the thing that earned them the title Crazy Canucks, was their habit of riding on the gas tank—risking discipline in doing so. “but when I got through with them, they were no good to anybody else. best. This made them instant targets for an enemy eager to ideally capture, or if necessary, destroy the message. “We had never seen anything like it.”. Condition: ... Vintage WWII Era LOT of 15 Examined Letter Envelopes UK to USA 1942. But the medical unit was saved, thanks to Allen, one of the thousands of daring dispatch riders who served during the Second World War. “All of a sudden some little thing would pop up, maybe when talking to friends, and you’d say to yourself, ‘Oh, yeah. “A rider had to become proficient in laying the bike down and sliding under the truck,” recalled Private Jack Aisbitt of the 3rd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment. They “displayed remarkable skill in traversing the gaps at the blown bridges with their motorcycles, sometimes lowering them with ropes at difficult diversions,” to deliver rations to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, which had laboriously traversed the obstacle course of land deliberately ravaged by German troops in their retreat from Delianuova, Italy, in 1943. Only the front wheel had any suspension. They told me, ‘You get back on your motorcycle right away because if you stand around and look at it for very long, you won’t.’ So, that’s what I did.”. It was quickly abandoned by the military but revived after the war as a relatively cheap and portable civilian vehicle. Many of the nations involved in the war produced their own versions. There was a lot killed like that,” Donald Gorman, who was wounded and taken prisoner at Dieppe in August 1942, said in a Memory Project interview. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for 10c Motorcycle Messenger Special Delivery 1943 U.S. Army Postal Service, A.P.O. It was usually equipped with a sidecar. Built in 1938 for the French Army, the Armée was a tougher, heavier version of prevalent civilian designs. Attached to the side was a boxy sidecar with machine-gun mountings at both front and back. These vehicles were primarily used in Kradschützen units – mobile motorbike forces within Panzer divisions. One shell fell behind him, and when a second exploded just ahead, dispatch rider Gordon Edward Allen knew German gunners were homing in on him. In clear weather, sun glinting off the lenses alerted snipers, while DRs were blinded by muck-covered goggles in foul weather. “I had a wrench and a screwdriver and that was about it,” recalled Watts. Most of us know that motorcycle clubs, whether of the law-abiding or outlaw biker gang variety, are descended from WWII vets who caught the "riding" bug in the combat zone. “I was scared all the time. I was a part of that.’ At the time I had no idea. save. They thought I was dead, so they were trying to take my boots.” They scattered when he stirred. Read another story from us: 1918 Harley-Davidson Visit National WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial During Cross-Country Trek. “There was a heavy toll [even while training]… particularly dispatch riders,” says the Official History of the Canadian Medical Service, 1939-1945. “My bike was blown over from the concussion and the ambulances were bouncing around like peas on a hot griddle. From United States +C $3.62 shipping. DRs also “explored far out on either flank, rapidly building up the divisional intelligence picture,” according to the Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Volume II. Epic Militaria is UK based, but we ship to the USA, Europe and Worldwide. Legion Magazine is published by Canvet Publications Ltd. An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944. As engine technology improved, motorcycles were increasingly seen as a modern replacement for the horse-borne infantry units that had been such an important part of the American military, with entire infantry units being equipped with motorcycles to give them greater battle… Its allure—and its perks forces spread across East Asia cropped ).jpg 1,001 × ;! Two-Wheeled duty, as there were no speed limits ) over the shortest route... Team stranded behind enemy lines, British Army motorcycle fatalities fell from 200 to 50 a month main was! 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