Metal of Honor write up in San Diego Union-Tribune

Filed under: , , , , , by: Krystal

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II san diego tribune

Columnist Diane Bell whose column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays in the San Diego Union-Tribune did a short feature on Metal of Honor's meeting with World War II Hero John Finn on 5-23-09. The story appears on page B5.

A rolling tribute

Yesterday, WWII Medal of Honor recipient John Finn saw a different kind of “metal of honor.” This one, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle hand-engraved with WWII images, is the work of Desert Storm veteran, Dana Harbaugh, 47, a Las Vegas photographer who is preparing a photo book about Pearl Harbor survivors.

Harbaugh customized the motorcycle, calling it the “Remember Pearl Harbor Tribute Motorcycle,” to remind youth of sacrifices made by our military.

He took the newly completed bike yesterday to Finn's Campo home to show him its engravings, which include Finn's image. “I wanted to get his approval,” the author said.

He got it. Finn autographed the bike, which will be at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Balboa Park from 10 to 2 p.m. today and Sunday. It also will be at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial service on Monday.

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American Chopper has nothing on these guys!

Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II
Here's Master Builder Raymond Fischer of Attitude Custom Cycles working late into the night on the Monday before my trip to Mt. Soledad to get Metal of Honor reassembled for her big debut. Raymond got the entire family involved in the build. His wife and son (shown below) assisted in the 14 hour marathon build project. They finally got the bike assembled at 11pm. The shop over at Arlen Ness Las Vegas is a hub of activity with 3-4 bikes in various stages of assembly at any given time.

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II

World War II Hero John Finn Meets Metal of Honor

Filed under: , , , , by: PearlsofHonor

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navy
metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navyOver the Memorial Day weekend, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, John Finn was able to get a good look at Metal of Honor, the customized Harley Davidson Crossbones he helped inspire. Metal of Honor bears John's image from 1941 as well as engravings of his Medal of Honor (both front and back) along with numerous other images from that day that will live in infamy.

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navyAs a final seal of approval, John signed the tank next to his picture. Upon the bike's return to Las Vegas, the marker signature will be painted over with a special paint and clear coated again by Dwight Purcellz of Purcellz Customz.

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John, who has always loved motorcycles, was so excited to finally see the bike after many months of hearing about it. He seemed pretty tickled to see himself on the trailer, as well. He is pictured twice, once at a meeting with former President Bush and again with his caretaker Francis at the USS Arizona Memorial in Oahu during the Survivors 65th Anniversary visit to the island.

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navymetal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navy

Author Dana Harbaugh, owner of Metal of Honor, pulled together an amazing team of artisans to make his vision of a "rolling history lesson" into reality.

Bike Dissassembly and Reassembly by the Raymond Fisher in the Attitude Custom Cycle shop at Arlen Ness Las Vegas
Hand Engraving by Sandy & Jason at Chrome Fusion
Hand Painting the engraved areas by Sandy's wife, Joyce.
Hand tooled leather seat by Shirley of Bad Ass Seats
Painting by Dwight of Purcellz Customz
Trailer Wrap design by Krystal of Spark Creative
Trailer wrap printing & install by Mark and his team at Color Reflections
Flower Lei and Pearl art by Lori Anzalone

The bike will serve to hopefully draw people into the story of the Survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor as told in Dana's upcoming book: Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember.

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Metal of Honor at the USS Midway

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metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navyDana is on the road in San Diego for Memorial Day weekend. He sent back these very first pictures of the finished Metal of Honor Pearl Harbor Tribute Harley taken near the USS Midway Carrier in San Diego Harbor.

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II john finn navy
The USS Midway is the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. The floating "city at sea" is permanetly docked in San Diego Harbor and is open daily for tours of the carrier.

The entire city of San Diego has special meaning for Dana, as it is where he first met Ben Boosinger and the other Survivors. They hold their monthly meetings at the Veteran's Museum and Memorial in Balboa Park. Dana met them all when he volunteered to teach a basic computer class for veterans. During the course of the class "Uncle" Ben told Dana he was now an honorary member of the San Diego Carnation Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Would you tell an 85 year old war hero "no"? Attending the meetings brought Dana into their world of service and duty. Being a Navy veteran himself, this began a long friendship with Ben and all of the other survivors that morphed into a life mission — documented in over 20,000 photographs. Some of these will be shared in Dana's upcoming book, Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember.

If you are in San Diego, Dana, the trailer and Metal of Honor will be at the Memorial Services at Mt. Soledad on Monday. Look for him in the lower parking lot. He says the media typically attends this event in force and he is excited to possibly get some news coverage. More importantly, however, he is chomping at the bit to show the bike to John Finn tomorrow and put the last piece in place, John's signature on the gas tank next to his picture and his Medal of Honor. Once Dana comes back to Vegas, the signature will be clear coated by Dwight at Purcellz Customz.

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Filed under: , by: Krystal

metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II trailer
metal of honor tribute harley pearl harbor world war II trailier

Mark and his team at Color Reflections ASTONISHED us and outdid themselves by many magnitudes. The wrap is stunning and the clarity on individual pictures! You can read the text at the base of the statue and on the magazine article in one of the pictures.

They printed this wrap on their new HP inkjet large format printer and I've never seen the like for resolution and color fidelity. It's the first install of this machine in North America. The printer uses a Latex ink that doesn't release any nasty fumes and has no harsh chemicals. It's water based and probably the MOST environmentally friendly large format printer on the market.

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Metal's Trailer is almost ready to roll!

Filed under: by: Krystal

Today post is from Krystal, the Marketing Director and Designer for Pearls of Honor and Deontos Publishing.

Now that Dana is out of the hospital, I can't keep the man still! He had a heart attack last week and here he is today over at Color Reflections chivving Mark's crew along and taking pictures of them installing the trailer wrap I designed for Metal's home on the road. It's coming along wonderfully and we should have pics of the final wrap tomorrow. Dana, the trailer and hopefully the completed Metal of Honor Tribute Harley should be in San Diego at Mt. Soledad for the Memorial Day services. His brother is flying in to drive with him as I made THREATS.. serious threats should he decide to drive alone. He also went over to Arlen Ness and Chrome Fusion today as well to make sure that part of things is on scedule. No rest for the almost dead, I guess.

Can I take away his caffeine, yet?


Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

My newly revamped website is live. Thanks to Krystal over at Spark Creative, Lori from Anzalone Illustration and Mike and Maverick at SinCityMadMen! We're still working out some of the kinks and updating little things, but I'm pretty happy so far.

Pearls of Honor website goes live

Filed under: by: Krystal

Our new website for Pearls of Honor has just gone live. Still a little fine tuning to do. Wander on over and tell us what you think.

Metal's paint and chrome is shaping up!

Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

After months of waiting and watching, my 2008 Harley Davidson Crossbones massive customization project is almost done! Metal of Honor: The Pearl Harbor Tribute Bike should be complete early next week in time for my trip to San Diego to attend the Memorial day services at Mt. Soledad. I will also meet with my dear friend John Finn, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, so that he can inspect the finished bike and add the last touch, his signature on the gas tank. John will be turning 100 this year and his sea stories are fascinating to listen to. One cannot help but admire his zest for life and seemingly endless energy. The plan is for me to ride Metal of Honor as part of his escort this summer in the Coronado, California 4th of July Parade. John has been asked to be the Grand Marshal.

Here are some pictures from the paint shop at Purcellz Cuztomz, Arlen Ness (bike assembly) and Chrome Fusion (hand engraving) of the bike in progress.

Metal's gas tank with the hand engraving done by Sandy at Chrome Fusion hung for painting at Purcellz Cuztomz.
Dwight Purcellz doing some sanding prior to applying the pearl coat.

The front of the gas tank has a 1940's era Harley Davidson logo and
Hula girls framing a picture of John Finn.

One of the medals awarded for heroism during the attack.

With John's permission, Sandy at Chrome Fusion engraved not only his picture but his actual Medal of Honor, both front and back onto the tank.

The rear fender has a depiction of the Hawaiian islands and a list of all the ships that were damaged in the attack. All ships were repaired and went on to serve during World War II, except the USS Arizona, which was sunk by torpedos. The ship is still listed as "active" in the Navy as it silently stands vigil for the many man entombed in her at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

The Pearl White paint has a sheen that is very iridescent in the sunlight. The tank will now return to Chrome Fusion where Joyce will be doing some color work on the engraving, then come back to Purcellz for the final clear coat. Then it goes over to Arlen Ness to be reassembled.

On the other side of the tank, the USS Arizona is shown sailing, listing before she sank on December 7th, 1941 and in her current form as a Memorial and tomb of some service men killed that day.

The seat is done!

Filed under: by: PearlsofHonor

Metal of Honor's custom leather seat just came back from Shirley at BadAss Seats. She also did David Letterman's custom seat, among many others.

Survivors in the news, Chicago

Filed under: by: Krystal

Some World War II Navy veterans in the Chicago area were treated to a tour of the Great Lakes naval training facility this week. They were all survivors of Pearl Harbor. See the video and read the story.

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