Facts and Trivia Oct. 2016


On November 12, 1918, the day after the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, Corporal Roy Holtz, a dispatch messenger, rode into history when he became the first American to enter Germany and he did it riding his army issue Harley-Davidson. But it almost didn’t happen. Four days before Holtz was stationed in Belgium. The big drive toward the German border was on. The enemy was retreating and surrender was expected momentarily. In the night of November 8, a rumor circulated among the Americans that peace was declared. Late that night Cpl. Holtz was ordered to take his captain on a night mission. It had been pouring rain for days and the roads were thick with mud. The corporal started out with his captain in the sidecar of his Harley-Davidson. As they slid along in the darkness, Holtz knew the country well and told his captain they were going in the wrong direction, but the Captain ordered him to continue on.

They finally came upon an old farmhouse, Holtz was ordered to go in and get directions. The thoroughly disgruntled corporal entered the front door, he glanced across the room unbelievingly. There at a long table were a dozen or more enemy officers all eyes staring at him coldly. Holtz and his captain had blundered into enemy divisional headquarters. They we held there and questioned until November 11. One of their guards came up to them late in the morning and said: “The war is at an end.” After it had been certified that the war was actually over, the Germans released Holtz and his captain.

Not long afterwards, the Harley-Davidson bumped to a stop in front of their own headquarters. They arrived just in time, as their outfit was ready to move forward. On November 12, Cpl. Holtz lead his unit into Germany. He rode his Harley-Davidson back and forth across the border many times in the days which followed. He spent a total of eight months with the Army of Occupation in Germany and a total of twenty months overseas. During this time he and his Harley-Davidson carried countless dispatches for American troops as they advanced through France and Belgium. He had the highest praise for the way in which his Harley-Davidson stood up under the constant hammering and battering it took over the shell-torn roads of France and Belgium.

roy-holtzAt the time Roy Holtz was unaware that his picture was taken as he entered Germany. The photo was discovered a few days later in a German photography shop by a fellow dispatch rider, who sent it to Harley-Davidson in 1943. The photo was published in H-Ds magazine “The Enthusiast.”  When Holtz heard about it he went to the Enthusiast office to see it for the first time since it was taken in 1918.



Trivia Question of the Month:

Question: What year did “New York State” start issuing Motorcycle License’s? Was it:



1938 or




Answer to last month’s trivia question:

Question: what event took place for the government to announce that all civilian motorcycle production stop immediately?


Answer: Just 2 months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the US government orders all civilian motorcycle production stop immediately. This however isn’t much of an impact for H-D because the Army orders 31,393 motorcycles and the Navy orders 1,622 motorcycles and sidecars in 1942 alone.


Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

May all your interactions with the law start with the words:


“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo
“The Hog Shoppe”



Leave a Reply