Sergeant Roy Holtz of Chippewa Falls went overseas during WWI with the 32nd Division. He has the unique distinction of being the first “Yank” to invade Germany after the armistice was signed.

In November 1918, he drove a Harley Davidson Motorcycle with a sidecar carrying Lieutenant S.A. Stevens toward Spa, the great German headquarters. They were soon behind retreating German lines and were held under guard several times by the German military. Fortunately, being of German immigrant parents, Holtz could speak German fluently and was always able to gain freedom for himself and Lieutenant Stevens. While in Spa they saw thousands of German soldiers hiking back into Germany, defeated and crestfallen, and long lines of wagon transports carrying all kinds of military supplies and equipment.

After crossing into Germany, they returned to American headquarters with first hand information on the retreat.

Sergeant Holtz returned to his hometown of Chippewa Falls on Aug. 3, 1919.

On Aug. 13, 2002 Rod Stetzer of the Chippewa Herald wrote that Roy’s achievement was being triumphed as part of Harley Davidson’s 100th anniversary that was taking place that year. Read Stetzer’s story at www.chippewa.com.

Each Saturday, the Chippewa Area History Center showcases a piece of local history. For more information on the Chippewa Area History Center, visit www.ChippewaAreaHistoryCenter.org.

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