The Background of Motorcycles in the Korean War

Though the bike is a taken for granted motor vehicle on the road these
days, its function as a motor vehicle in war is frequently disregarded. In
this write-up, the role of the bike is explored in the context of
the Korean War and the important part which it performed for the duration of this

Motorbike brands have a lengthy heritage of stepping up to the
plate and offering when their state is in have to have. Through WWI and
WWII, producers such as Indian, Harley Davidson and Triumph
supplied machines to the military which were equipped to the precise technical specs of the Pentagon. In
truth, Harley Davidson manufactured about 90,000 devices for the U.S.
navy throughout WWII by yourself!

Early in the Korean War (August 1950), at the very least 45 motorcycles ended up
destroyed through an abortive attempt to retreat. No, these
were not Harleys that had been captured – they were
North Korean
bikes captured by the U.S. 25th Division, 3rd Battalion, 5th
Marines. In reality, the recently formed North Korean Military (aided and properly trained
by the Soviets and Chinese) experienced among its 90,000 guys an full
motorbike reconnaissance regiment. On this specific day, even so,
the motorcycles fulfilled their match in the Corsairs that swooped down on
them with their 20mm guns and rocket attacks.

On the North Korean side, the North Korean Military (NKA) employed bikes
equipped with saddlebags []
thoroughly. When the NKA took in excess of Seoul in July of 1950, the 12th
Motorcycle Regiment secured key crossroads at Ch’ungju that
served secure the central location and allow the NKA to capture the metropolis.
On the allied side, the 17th Motorbike regiment assisted in routing
the NKA out of Seoul a small time later on.

The principal shift that took spot during the Korean War was the
replacement of the motorcycle by the Jeep in the U.S. Military. The
motorcycle had evidently been replaced as the preferred motor vehicle for
tough terrain. The introduction of the Jeep was section of a
extensive system the U.S. Released to exchange getting old motor vehicles
from WWI (amongst which were the motorbike and sidecars). Although more recent
bikes ended up definitely used for the duration of the Korean War (as observed earlier mentioned),
the Jeep changed it in a lot of regions the place it had previously recognized

Maybe the real heritage of the Korean War and the motorbike is a single
that will not be found by searching by way of the history books or looking
up dry numbers these types of as how lots of motorcycles were employed in this or that
raid for this or that intent. The real history – the human
heritage, may possibly be summed up in the tale of Mark Nozzolillo and his Honda
Shadow. This is a photograph of Mark’s father, Vince.

Vince is a veteran of the Korean War who shed a close friend on the
battlefield in August of 1950. So shocked to see his buddy’s
staying carried out, the youthful gentleman (then 20 yrs aged) turned to his
initial sergeant and clung to him in an nearly fetal posture, sobbing
uncontrollably. Nozzolillo himself mentioned he “just went
when he observed the sight. His son took the outdated photograph (1st posted
in 1955) and experienced it airbrushed to the gasoline tank of his Honda.

The story below is one of the tragedies of war that we will have to all
keep in mind, and the tribute a father paid to his son. That this tribute
was paid on airbrushed motorcycle is anything all bike
fans can be happy of. It’s a memory that Mark will
each and every time he rides his bike.