|"Detroit's Own" Polar Bear Memorial Association|
The "Detroit's Own" Polar Bear Memorial Association
is dedicated to honoring and maintaining the memory of the 339th
Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers, the 337th
Ambulance Co. and the 337th Field Hospital of the U.S. Army's 85th
Division. These men, officially designated the American North Russia
Expeditionary Force (ANREF) and also known as "Detroit's Own" and
Bears", were sent by President Wilson to North Russia where they fought
the Bolshevik Red Army from September 1918 through June 1919.
The Polar Bear Memorial
Association is organizing the "Detroit's
Own Polar Bears Centennial Symposium," which will be held
on the evening of Sept. 5, 2018. This date marks the centennial
the landing of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force (ANREF) in
Archangel, Russia. This event is being sponsored by Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and will be held in their Whitmer
Building at 500 E. Lafayette St. in downtown Detroit. There
is no admission charge for this event, however seating is limited and
advance registration is required. Your registered admission includes
free parking in the adjacent garage.
POLAR BEAR WEAR
Our VP Kevin Stark has been working with Charlevoix Screen Masters
in Charlevoix, Michigan to make available a nice selection of
embroidered and silk-screened shirts and caps that carry the ANREF
Centennial logo as well as the Polar Bear logo.
Public Memory of the Polar Bears
Capt. DiRisio won
that bet. Here is his finished project: "Frozen in Time: Public Memory, the Polar
Bear Expedition, and the Triumph of the Regional Vernacular"
Bentley Historical Library
The Bentley Historical Library's "Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections" web site features digitized content from their "Polar Bear Collections" that are archived at their facility on the University of Michigan's North Campus. Back in the 1960s the Bentley Historical Library began collecting personal papers of the Polar Bear veterans through a collaboration with the Polar Bear Association. Around 2006 the Library began digitizing this collection and making it available on-line. As of 2015, their web site contain
Official Photographs taken in North Russia, 1918-1919
Browse the lists of official captions for (510) photographs taken in North Russia by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.The lists are complied in order of increasing SC number. The SC number is usually found in the lower left hand corner of the image, next to the U.S. Army Signal Corps logo. Many of the captions identify the subjects in the photo by their name, rank and/or unit. Information on how to obtain copies of these photos can be found on this page.
Visit the web site of The Foreign Burial of American War Dead
"The American Expedition to North Russia in 1918-1919 has been oddly neglected by professional historians, with the result that most US citizens, including even the best educated and well-read, have been unaware of its existence. Partly, this has been because it got underway in the closing weeks of the Great War (now officially called World War I), and like a side show at a circus where they are already striking the tent, it drew little attention.
"Besides that, there was the confusion and obscurity surrounding it with regard to its purpose, especially in Washington and among the American troops who were involved: they literally had no idea what they were being sent to do. Even President Woodrow Wilson, as will be seen, was in a spin of uncertainty as to whether he should or should not authorize the expedition, and the British leadership (for it was to be an Allied operation, including British and French soldiers, but with the British officers in all the top command positions) offered little clarification.
enlightenment, five thousand American doughboys found themselves, early
in September of 1918, after a long, slow trip from England through the
icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, disembarking at the Russian port of
Archangel - and more than half of them no sooner ashore than they were,
with astonishment, packed off to "the front" to fight "the Bolos" -
which was to say units of the Soviet Red Army. The operation thus
turned out to be, willy-nilly and right from the start, an invasion of
INTRODUCTION | CEREMONIES & EVENTS | HONOR ROLL | MILITARY DECORATIONS | ENGAGEMENTS
"POLAR BEAR" STORIES | ARTICLES & REF. INFO. | PHOTO ALBUM | MORE LINKS | BOOKS | GUESTBOOK
Mike Grobbel .
This web page was created on 04 July 2002 and moved to"http://pbma.grobbel.org" on 08 July 2007; Last Revised: 25 May 2018
The URL for this page is: http://pbma.grobbel.org/index.html
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