Paul Charman on that crazy era when opposing US and Japanese armies both rode Harleys out to battle
If you loved V-twins, New Zealand must have been ”Hog Heaven” back in 1943.
Suddenly we had shiploads of US military Harley-Davidson motorcycles, swarming up and down Auckland’s Queen St and Wellington’s Lambton Quay. But by about 1945 they’d almost all vanished, taken home by our departing American allies.
The Marines and GIs were a hit with Kiwi girls, though the pleasure was often short-lived. Thousands of those ”handsome Yanks”, many barely in their twenties, got mowed down in island battles from the Solomons to Iwo Jima.