From Kamikaze Pilots to Auschwitz Survivors: A Memorial Day Reflection
thanks 32/155
Dave Bostrom and friend, in Vietnam.

It's Memorial Day in the USA.

A trio of Memorial Day bench-racing snippets:

1. Pops Yoshimura worked as the guide plane operator to take teams of kamikaze pilots out to targets in the ocean in the last days of WWII. Pops didn't drink whiskey for pleasure, but decades later when he'd had enough, his son, Fujio, says he'd tell stories of looking those scared kids in the eyes as they were being locked into their planes with only enough fuel to get to the target.

2. Dave Bostrom, Ben and Eric's father, served in combat in Vietnam. A racer, Bostrom expected to go to war and be on the front lines. As luck would have it, his prowess in keeping a certain General's motorcycles running—and fast—kept him out of hazardous duty. The famous story is he left America where he was racing motorcycles and working on motorcycles then went to Vietnam where he did the same thing while curating the General's collection of motorcycles.

3. Long before they were the exclusive US importers of Ducati, the Berliner brothers, Michael and Joe, were in several different concentration camps as young men during WWII. Several of their brothers and sisters were gassed by the Nazis. The pair survived Auschwitz because they were able to repair cars, trucks, and motorcycles for the Nazis. After the war the Berliner brothers became powerful importers of motorcycles in the United States for numerous brands but most importantly Ducati. Business dress was much more formal in their era, but both brothers nearly always wore long sleeve shirts. They did so, it is said, to cover the area where the Nazis had tattooed serial numbers into their forearms when they were children.
— ends —
Share on:
Superbike Planet