Following the attack on Pearl Harbor the previous December, in 1942 we were at war. U.S. troops and their allies would be fighting battles in Europe, in the Pacific, and in Africa during the year. Rationing of food, gas, and other items began to support the war effort. Sacrifices were being made on the home front to support our troops but many brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice before the war was over.
During the war, Harley-Davidson produced approximately 80,000 WLAs for the U.S. Army to be used mainly for military police and courier duties but was also used at times for scouting and escorts. It was a valuable mode of transportation for the military and it was nicknamed “Liberator” by those who saw soldiers riding them while liberating occupied Europe.
This particular WLA did its tour of duty for the military police in London, England and features typical military items that were fitted for wartime use such as the leather Thompson submachine gun scabbard, ammo box, heavy duty luggage rack, blackout lights, and an oil bath air cleaner.
Retired from active duty for many years now, this WLA has been maintained in its original condition. Unlike so many others that were sold as surplus after the war, this bike is an inspirational reminder of how the motorcycles that we love, like so many of us, have also served our country when needed.
Special thanks to Jeff and Kristal from Iron Horse Livery for preserving this piece of our motorcycling history and giving us a glimpse of the past and what it was like to ride a motorcycle ~ back in the day!