Aaron Hatfield has customized a Harley in authentic 100th Bomb Group Markings. We hope you enjoy the photos of this remarkable creation. The accompanying text is from an email note Aaron sent to the site webmasters. The text has not been modified. Email Aaron
Thanks for the opportunity to put these up for everyone to see. I think it’s something that everyone will enjoy. I have always been a history buff, and WWII is my favorite time in history. It has always intrigued me to see an entire country pull together, sacrifice, and be all for making sure the troops had all they needed no matter what the cost. Then there is the real story behind the war. Just to see what happened then, how things all built up, and then how we took care of it. So the bike wasn’t intended for any real use other than to be my own personal salute to the men of the 100th during the greatest generation in history. However, I think I might put the bike in shows to help spread the story of a dying generation that saved the freedoms so many take for granted these days. Here’s my story behind it:
I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in England for 4 years, and just up the road from RAF Mildenhall (which is now the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing). I saw the “Box D” fly everyday for those 4 years, and when I learned that the 100th was the only active Air Force unit still flying it’s WWII heritage tail marking I looked more into it. Learning as much as I could in the the little time I had left before leaving England I was hooked.
Although I regret that I never made it to Thorpe Abbotts. I knew when I bought my Harley that I wanted a custom WWII aircraft theme, and it was only obvious to me to use the 100th. Originally it was going to depict Lt. MacNab’s aircraft “Nine Lives” from the famous piggyback incident, but Michael Faley and I failed in finding the nose art and mission/enemy kill markings.
At last minute I changed the aircraft to “Rosie’s Riveters”, and redrew the scheme out to include the 100th as a whole instead of just partially with 1 single aircraft. The aircraft markings are that of Col. Rosenthal’s from the tail number/serial number, to the aircraft and squadron designations on the fuselage with the star and bars. The nose art was replaced with a mural of the group and squadron patches with a banner on the opposite side of the tank. The USAAF headquarters insignia was painted on the tip of the front fender, The yellow stripe behind it represents the yellow tips of the propellers. Not as noticeable on the fender is the quote from General “Jimmy” Doolittle “The 100th was always ready”.
The tank also has bombs for the missions flown by the 100th for the duration of the war, and swastikas to represent the enemy kills. Each mission marker = 17 missions for the total of 306 missions flown. Each enemy kill marker = 26.5 enemy kills for a total of 291.5 shot down. The bullet holes from enemy fighters were actually my painter’s idea. He thought it would add a little depth to it, and I couldn’t agree more.
The bullet holes in the front fender line up perfectly with those on the right side of the tank to look like the enemy aircraft attacked in passing. I also have an 8th Air Force medallion that still needs to be attached to the timing cover, but that should be on by the end of this week.
If you need any more information please let me know, and I’ll gladly provide anything I can. This project is far from done though. I’m focusing on the vintage 1940’s Harley design and heritage to go along with the bike’s scheme. Baby steps though. She should be looking pretty good by the time I roll her up to the 2007 reunion in Nashville.
Well, I’ll let you go now Charlie. Have a good one!