Michigan Historical Collections
Bentley Historical Library
University of Michigan

Finding Aid for
Michael J. Macalla papers,1918-1956.

Finding aid prepared by:
Len Coombs

Summary Information
Title: Michael J. Macalla papers
Creator: Macalla, Michael J.
Inclusive dates: 1918-1956
Extent: 0.4 linear ft.
Member of Co. G, 339th U.S. Infantry who served in the Allied intervention in Russia, 1918-1920, the "Polar Bear Expedition" and officer in the Polar Bear Association. Collection includes papers on the committee sent to Russia in 1929, to recover the bodies of men slain during the expedition, including material on their reinterment in White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery, Troy, Michigan, and the dedication of the Polar Bear monument.

Call number: 851792 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Michael Macalla, of Detroit, Michigan, in 1965 (Donor no.: 4274).

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Michael J. Macalla papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Served with Co. G, 339th Infantry, and was a member of the Michigan commission sent to return the bodies of men killed in Russia.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes a copy of a petition, Feb. 1919, from people in Detroit asking for the withdrawal of American troops from Archangel; a diary, July-Sept. 1929, describing his trip to Russia and the search for bodies; correspondence, 1929-1930, regarding the commission and its work; a list of the bodies recovered and a map showing the location of some bodies found around Kodish; papers relating to the reinterment of the dead in White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery; a 1965 memoir of the 1929 commission, and two letters, 1966 and undated, from Arthur Wickham relating his memories of service in Archangel. Also included are bulletins, meeting notes, speeches, eulogies, and programs of the Polar Bear Association and the constitution and bylaws of the Polar Bear Post, No. 436, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Subject Terms

    • Macalla, Michael J.
    • Soviet Union--History--Allied Intervention, 1918-1920.
    • World War, 1914-1918.
    • Polar Bear Expedition.
    • White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery (Troy, Mich.)
    • Polar Bear Association.
    • Beozowski, John J.
    • Brucker, Wilber Marion, 1894-1968.
    • Green, Fred Warren, 1872-1936.
    • Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Papers [series]:
    Folder   1  
    Miscellaneous materials relating to Polar Bear Expedition,  1918-1919 and 1941 (851792.0001)   

    (includes 1919 petition requesting return of North Russia Expeditionary Force and Russian money collected by John J. Beozowski)

    Folder   2  
    Materials relating to Russian trip to recover bodies of Americans,  1929 (851792.0002)
    Folder   3  
    Correspondence relating to Polar Bear Association affairs 1919-1949 (851792.0003)   

    (includes letters from Fred W. Green, June 2, 1929 and from William M. Brucker, June 5, 1929)

    Folder   4  
    Correspondence,  1950-1969 (851792.0004)   

    (including telegram from G. Mennen Williams, May 29, 1950)

    Folder   5  
    Speeches, eulogies, and programs, of members of Polar Bear Association,  1947-1955 (851792.0005)
    Folder   6  
    Polar Bear Association organizational and promotional miscellanea,  1950s (851792.0006)
    Folder   7  
    Constitution and bylaws of Victor C. Vaughan Post (formerly Polar Bear Post), V.F.W.; Historical sketch, 1958, and miscellanea of Polar Bear Association; including 30th anniversary brochure (851792.0007)