Polar Bear Unit
the armistice ending World War I was signed and other American soldiers
came home, 5,500 soldiers90% of them from Michiganwere sent to
northern Russia near the Arctic Circle.
were never really told why we were there.
Shand of Detroit
Polar Bear Expedition
Rasmussen, a Polar Bear soldier in Company H, 339th Infantry, in
Archangel, Russia, who hailed from Hart, compared Russia with Michigan.
Corresponding frequently with his family, he described his barracks in
Russia as "similar to that in Camp Custer" and noted, "I
don't see many autos here. Most of them I do see are Fords. Saw one Reo
and a Franklin."
the Polar Bear Unit, these American soldiers assisted the forces that made an unsuccessful
attempt to unseat Russia's new communist government. About 245 Polar
Bear members died and 350 were wounded.
Bear soldiers returning from Russia were honored at a picnic on
Detroit's Belle Isle in 1919. Some of the soldiers who died in Russia
were interred near the Polar Bear monument in Troy's White Chapel
more about the Polar Bear Unit in "Stranded
in Russia," an article from Michigan History magazine. [PDF]