“My bike was blown over from the concussion and the ambulances were bouncing around like peas on a hot griddle. 1939 battle reenactment during the VII Aircraft Picnic in Kraków (153) (cropped).jpg 1,001 × 877; 227 KB. “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. They thought I was dead, so they were trying to take my boots.” They scattered when he stirred. My bike was literally shot out from under me. 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. The Royal Air Force equipped it with a sidecar as standard. But he hadn’t completely escaped from two-wheeled duty, as there were frequent DR shortages. “It was hide-and-seek time once more,” said Art Gaiger of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. Legion Magazine is published six times a year in English with a French insert. All hell broke loose.”. Signal corps DRs wore a patch on the left arm, below the elbow, of a wheel with wings under the initials DR. His blue-and-white armband giving him priority, he was waved through an intersection by three MPs directing traffic. got a good scare riding in a sidecar during training with an instructor. Early the next morning, I felt something tugging at my boots. “They can hear that stupid bike of yours,” said the sergeant giving Allen directions that would take him behind enemy lines. “Of the 12 who started in our group, only four completed the course and two quit once we got overseas.”. “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…. Some DR adventures were more humorous than dangerous, as Dale Brecknell of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment recalled in an interview for the Memory Project: “I was ordered to deliver a message to the regimental commander, travelling through the mountains. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could keep a tenacious DR from completing his duty. About 700,000 motorcycles were produced for the Allies. It was a group of Italian women. Meant to make airborne troops more mobile, it was small enough to be packed up in a container and dropped by parachute. It didn’t usually carry weapons, though a machine gun was occasionally mounted on the sidecar. “One Sunday (15th October) during the afternoon, the Police had been instructed to call on all messenger… “Anybody who said they weren’t scared, well, they weren’t telling the truth,” said army DR John Herbert Robotham. ECS is a motorcycle messenger registered process server working for attorneys, medical industry and entertainment to deliver results. “We had never seen anything like it.”. Because DRs were on call around the clock, they were exempt from mundane tasks, like guard duty, much to sergeant majors’ chagrin. I went for miles and miles until the spokes of my bike were coming through the rim. After providing M86 bikes in 1936, it decided to go one better and develop a model specifically for military use. Washington Terminal Annex Seattle 1942 machine 10c Motorcycle Messenger Special. Allen caught a transport back to his own unit. Ranger Battalions were issued 6 motorcycles for messenger duty during WW2. 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. Dispatch riders could be part of, or attached to, any unit, but the greatest concentrations were in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS) and the Provost Corps, which provided military police (MP). 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). Some wore wide kidney belts to limit injury from juddering over rough terrain. Only the front wheel had any suspension. ECS is a motorcycle messenger registered process server working for attorneys, medical industry and entertainment to deliver results. But Allen could not. Built in 1938 for the French Army, the Armée was a tougher, heavier version of prevalent civilian designs. Military Motorcycles Motorcycles & Scooters have been used by the military since they became available early in the 20th century. “I smashed up nine motorcycles altogether in Italy,” said Trooper Darrell White. Harley-Davidsons used in England were swapped for lighter bikes after D-Day. The job was hard and dangerous, but it also had its allure—and its perks. Legionnaires get discounted cell phone plans with SimplyConnect! Beyond the Brick 119,816 views. CZ 175. The saddle and pillar folded away for transport. Its most unusual feature was a shallow vee engine which was set across the frame of the bike. They delivered medical supplies and urgently needed parts and equipment, quickly transported personnel where they were needed, and rushed to downed aircraft to rescue surviving Allied aircrew. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could keep a tenacious DR from completing his duty. 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. 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). … 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. A messenger takes aim behind his Type III 42WLA during manoeuvers, late 1942. The main duty was to deliver messages that could not be trusted to unreliable or insecure telephone or wireless transmissions. The License plate shows it belongs to the 7th Air District Command (Luftgau-Kommando VII). 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. https://t.co/6pbxbt3bPF. There were probably 300, 400 casualties. I was pretty tired when I got that done, so I pulled over to the side of the road and went to sleep beside my motorcycle. “Independence as a DR was great,” said Aisbitt. On a narrow stone-fenced road, “I…came around a corner at about 60 miles per hour and there was a British truck passing another,” rider Lou Lapointe of the Royal Canadian Engineers recalled in WWP. level 1. He served as a motorcycle messenger in WWII. One of several similar bikes created for the Czechoslovakian army in the … 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. It was dangerous work. It was usually equipped with a sidecar. Legion Magazine engages Canadians in commemorating the effort, bravery and sacrifice of those who served and continue to serve in Canada’s military. 100% Upvoted. “While a regiment’s history can be traced with relative ease,” says WWP, “dispatch riders and other military motorcyclists become lost in the paperwork they delivered with such dedication.”, Long after the war was over, Watts finally realized the role he had played in history. C $7.88. “DRs in my section travelled anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 miles per week, and not without severe casualties,” said Sergeant Morley Young in WWP. The Zundapp company’s answer to the R75, the KS750 was another German heavy military motorbike. 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. The toll would have been much higher except for rigorous training in Canada and in Britain. They were also sometimes used by paratroopers, who carried them in the holds of Junkers 52 transports. This sidecar wasn’t like civilian ones, being little more than an open box, devoid of protection from the weather. Item Information. “There was a heavy toll [even while training]… particularly dispatch riders,” says the Official History of the Canadian Medical Service, 1939-1945. You’re never going to have anything more dangerous between your legs that one of them motorcycles.’”. 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. 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. 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. Condition: ... Vintage WWII Era LOT of 15 Examined Letter Envelopes UK to USA 1942. William Poy was not yet a Canadian citizen, but he worked with the Canadian Trade Commission before volunteering as a DR in Hong Kong at the end of 1941 and serving through the Japanese invasion. “The war was over and…you forgot about things,” he told. I wore them out.”. German Luftwaffe motorcycle messenger with a BMW R35. They were useful for messengers and reconnaissance troops, especially in fast-moving formations. 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. That’s why you kept alive…. “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. They were issued revolvers in England, which were replaced by Sten guns or Thompson machine guns in Europe. 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. “I had a wrench and a screwdriver and that was about it,” recalled Watts. A German motorcycle messenger wearing his rain gear, to keep dirt and dust off his uniform. Close. “Sitting right up forward on the tank in their usual way, they just bulldozed their way through, ignoring ruts and water holes,” said one British DR quoted in WWP. Every day was a close call, let’s put it that way.”. It was legally acquired from the Wehrmacht (German … What DRs did not have was a good means of self-defence. A dispatch rider’s badge from the Second World War. Many of the nations involved in the war produced their own versions. And on the cobblestone road, there were sparks flying… anybody could hear me…so I rode on the side of the curb on the grass.”. DRs were often vital to operations. 6:48. The result was an awkward looking bike with tiny wheels and an underpowered engine with only 98cc of power. Epic Militaria is UK based, but we ship to the USA, Europe and Worldwide. “I was scared all the time. With a similar layout and size of engine to the R75, as well as a standardized sidecar, there was little to differentiate the KS750 from the BMW model. “The war was over and…you forgot about things,” he told Legion Magazine. “but when I got through with them, they were no good to anybody else. DRs had one of the most dangerous jobs—even before they engaged in battle. FREE Shipping. It’s unlikely any DR ended the war riding the same bike he started out on. 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. Japanese motorcycles with machine gun armed sidecars. The Intelligence Corps also made extensive use of motorcycles to get them into battle-torn areas close behind the infantry, note Ken Messenger and Max Burns in The Winged Wheel Patch, A History of the Canadian Military Motorcycle and Rider (WWP). But the medical unit was saved, thanks to Allen, one of the thousands of daring dispatch riders who served during the Second World War. “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. On a narrow stone-fenced road, “I…came around a corner at about 60 miles per hour and there was a British truck passing another,” rider Lou Lapointe of the Royal Canadian Engineers recalled in, Neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns recorded 2,279 riders’ deaths in the first 21 months of the war, up more, “DRs in my section travelled anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 miles per week, and not without severe casualties,” said Sergeant Morley Young in. Yet for all their heroism, for their great contribution to the war effort, little research has been done into the role of the dispatch rider. Harley-Davidsons used in England were swapped for lighter bikes after D-Day. Uniforms varied depending on service, but basics included high boots, leather vests, canvas trousers, weatherproof jackets, helmets, goggles and gloves with wide cuffs. Another British bike, the 16H’s ruggedness and dependability made it popular despite its modest performance. It was a group of Italian women. Following World War II, increasing urban congestion in London saw riders on small motorcycles making scheduled runs with artwork or copy between printers and advertising agencies or newspapers. “If it needed more than that, then it was a wreck.”, Allen’s next trip behind enemy lines tested his luck. Charles “Chick” Owens got a good scare riding in a sidecar during training with an instructor. [In a café] I could see these people looking out, but they were just looking straight ahead; they were killed by concussion.”, Ewart Tucker, a DR who witnessed the destruction of Cassino, Italy, had been asked to lead a jeep carrying a medic and a padre “into where the boys were under extreme fire. I was pretty tired when I got that done, so I pulled over to the side of the road and went to sleep beside my motorcycle. ... LEGO WWII 1st Battle of El Alamein | Philly Brick Fest 2019 - Duration: 6:48. It was not unusual for a DR to make a run and return to find his unit had upped sticks. “All of a sudden some little thing would pop up, maybe when talking to friends, and you’d say to yourself, ‘Oh, yeah. A more powerful engine drove both the rear wheel and the wheel of the sidecar. Shoaf wear winter garb with a Tanker's Jacket and either has paratrooper boots or overshoes. Posted by 3 hours ago. “I came around a curve and spotted a wire across the road,” said Harry Watts, a DR in Italy and northwestern Europe. The sidecar had racks to carry either a mortar or a machine gun, turning the whole vehicle into a mobile weapons platform. Even before World War II, the motorcycle was seen as a vital part of the military. 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. Built in 1937, the Type 97 was a Japanese imitation of American Harley-Davidsons. Rugged, reliable, and great for cross-country travel, it was later adopted by other service branches for messenger work. He had orders to find a medical team stranded behind enemy lines in an area of France about to be bombarded by the Allies. 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. Motorcycle messenger at the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) training centre, Camberley, 1941. “All of a sudden…he’d tip the sidecar up and over you’d go…. 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. Many of the motorbikes used in the war were civilian models that had been adopted and repainted by the military. C $26.33. 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. Allen found the team along a farm lane between Caen and Falaise, burying two of their members. On the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in August 1942, DRs were tasked with creating as much havoc ashore as possible, says WWP. He spent the duration as a prisoner of war, reported Farley Mowat in, On the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in August 1942, DRs were tasked with creating as much havoc ashore as possible, says, “While a regiment’s history can be traced with relative ease,” says, Long after the war was over, Watts finally realized the role he had played in history. 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. World War II was a global war that was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. Courses were so tough, recruits said, that it was battle—without enemy bullets. “Fortunately, the tank driver, he saw it and he just turned off one track. Those who initially mistook sniper fire for wasps quickly learned the sound was a signal to gun it or scramble for cover. 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. 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. But, notes, “Sitting right up forward on the tank in their usual way, they just bulldozed their way through, ignoring ruts and water holes,” said one British DR quoted in. Later, in the slog to the Senio River in 1944, DRs delivered more than 28,000 packets. 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. Trying to dodge a tank in a convoy, John Charlwood of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps hit a rut and fell in front of the tank. Built as a light bike, it could be manhandled with ease to get over rough terrain but had only limited power. The War Department 'W' prefix was dropped at some point during Type III production. “All of a sudden…he’d tip the sidecar up and over you’d go…. Motorcycle messenger delivers to a moving M3A1 Scout Car, Ft. Riley, KS, April 1942. Call 1-866-669-2210 or visit to learn more. WWII B&W Photo British Motorcycle Messenger WW2 World War Two / 1087. Even so, hundreds of DRs were killed by enemy or accident each year. He was stuck there a week. $84.99 $ 84. Its flat-twin 750cc engine drove the rear wheel but not the sidecar one. But the helmets were widely loathed and sometimes doffed when out of sight of the brass. 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. Eventually they were relieved, and another dispatch rider came by and took his packet to its destination. 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Motorcycle formation for press coverage of 1st Armored Division, Observation Post 6, Ft. Knox, KY, 24-27 March 1941. The Canadian Army, like its British counterpart, used the 16H for dispatch work. best. 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… A motorcycle messenger awaits orders at the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) training center, Camberley, 1941. To this end, its components were built to withstand being dropped – if need be, the ignition could even work without the battery. The Intelligence Corps also made extensive use of motorcycles to get them into battle-torn areas close behind the infantry, note Ken Messenger and Max Burns in The Winged Wheel Patch, A History of the Canadian Military Motorcycle and Rider (WWP). They learned to ride safely over all types of terrain in all weather conditions. Details about Washington Terminal Annex Seattle 1942 machine 10c Motorcycle Messenger Special. © 2020 Legion Magazine.