Armament: (1) SA 80 Assault Rifle
Steve purchased this MT-500 new in 2000 right from the factory in York, Pennsylvania. This being a new motorcycle does not require any kind of restoration.
This is the rarest and smallest production run from Harley-Davidson. Less than 500 were ever made for the US Military. Great Britain made thousands of them under the name of “Armstrong” MT-350 & MT-500. Used in the Falklands and Desert Storm. H.D. bought Armstrong, with the intent of contracting to the 1st & 101st Airborne divisions. Unfortunately for Harley-Davidson, the Army decided to become a “One Fuel Army”. They then contracted with Kawasaki for the KLR-650, but in a diesel configuration as M1030M1.
Harley Davidson never converted to diesel.
Harley Davidson Model 16-SC
“Sidecar Chassis and Stretcher”
PUNITIVE EXPEDITION / WORLD WAR I
The first specifically designed motorcycle for military use appeared in Canada in 1908. Sergeant Northover of the Canadian Militia mounted a Maxim machine gun on a modified sidecar using a Harley- Davidson. Hiram Stevens Maxim invented the machine gun in 1889.
One version of the sidecar held a pigeon loft. Pigeons were used often as message carriers in addition to telegraph, telephone and short-wave radio communication. The pigeons were considered even more reliable then radio telegraph, especially where wires could be cut or nonexistent. Some pigeons were so reliable that they were officially cited for meritorious service during WWI.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I and the military demanded motorcycles for the war effort. Harley’s had already been used by the military in the Pancho Villa Expedition but World War I was the first time the motorcycle had been adopted for combat service. Harley-Davidson provided about 15,000 machines to the military forces during World War I.
Commanded by Col. Albert H. Blanding, the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment mustered into federal service in June 1916 at Camp Foster, Florida and then deployed to the Texas-Mexico border in support of the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa.
Following guerilla leader Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico (in which 16 Americans died), President Wilson sent Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing and 10,000 soldiers into the mountains of northern Mexico to hunt Villa down. The mission ultimately failed but Mexicans viewed the act as an unjust invasion. It is said that the pejorative designation “gringo” came from this time, as US soldiers clad in olive uniforms were met with cries of “Green, Go!”
2nd Florida Infantry on the Mexican border, 1916–17
World War II
Harley-Davidson, on the eve of World War II, was already supplying the Army with a military-specific version of its 45 cubic inches (740 cc) WL line, called the WLA. The A in this case stood for “Army”. Upon the outbreak of war, the company, along with most other manufacturing enterprises, shifted to war work. More than 90,000 military motorcycles, mostly WLAs and WLCs (the Canadian version) were produced, many to be provided to allies. Harley-Davidson received two Army-Navy ‘E’ Awards, one in 1943 and the other in 1945, which were awarded for Excellence in Production.
The Army-Navy “E” Award was an honor presented to a company during World War II for excellence in production of war equipment. The award was also known as the Army-Navy Production Award.
A total of 4,283 companies received the award in the course of the war. This amounted to about 4% of the companies engaged in war work. Plants that maintained an outstanding record of performance for six months after receiving their original Army-Navy E-Award were granted a star award. The Army-Navy “E” Award program was terminated after the war ended.
Production of the WLA stopped at the end of World War II, but was resumed from 1950 to 1952 for use in the Korean War.
IN HONOR OF:
The 255 Brave British Soldiers lost in the Falklands.
Military Medal (Ian Bailey)