Allied Militaria Forum

U.S. MILITARY => INSIGNIA => CLOTH INSIGNIA => Topic started by: Patchcollector on July 04, 2018, 07:55:31 PM

Title: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Patchcollector on July 04, 2018, 07:55:31 PM
Greetings all,
   An interesting find is this piece for a wartime Arctic Exercise named "Polar Bear".This is part of a a small named group that includes a Bronze Star.
During WW2 a series of three Exercises were conducted in Canada.The Exercises were named "Eskimo,Polar Bear,and Lemming".The forces involved were primarily Canadian,however there were some Americans and other Foreign Forces involved.
The first of these Exercises,"Eskimo",was conducted in North Central Saskatchewan during January and February 1945.It involved testing "dry cold" performance.The second Exercise was named "Polar Bear"."Wet cold" conditions were to be tested,so British Columbia was chosen,and the Exercise ran from February to March 1945."Polar Bear" proved to be much more difficult due to the complex terrain and climatic conditions.
The third and last of this series of Exercises was named "Lemming",and was conducted during March and April 1945 at the Barren Grounds and over sea ice.
Due to the need for Troops in the War Zone,only 1150 Soldiers were committed to Exercise Polar Bear.

Here is a link to a PDF that tells the story of these Exercises,and has some great photo images too:

http://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1055&context=cmh (http://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1055&context=cmh)



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Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Rakkasan187 on July 05, 2018, 06:22:33 AM
Very interesting..

I never knew about these exercises..

I have just learned something new today.. Thank you for sharing

Smitty
Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Patchcollector on July 05, 2018, 07:42:22 AM
Hi Smitty,
You're welcome.I too knew nothing about these Exercises until I stumbled across the patch.The reason for the Exercises was of course primarily to see how Troops could maneuver in that environment but it was also to send a signal to the world that Canada was prepared to protect,and project its sovereignty across its' entire Territory in the coming postwar era.I think that's why observers from other nations were invited to attend and they eagerly accepted.
Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Phill Lockett on July 05, 2018, 01:46:00 PM
Hi PC

Superb addition to your collection.

A friend of mine has a Canadian made Exercise Eskimo (Saskatchewan) patch circa winter 1944-45 which US personnel participated in.

Of course the most well known  is US Arctic Can scroll Exercise Sweet Briar 1950.

I do like seeing US Can Arctic era 44-55 period.

Well done and a superb eye you have.

Phill
Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Scarecrow on July 05, 2018, 09:16:00 PM
Nice patch!  A whole area that I knew absolutely nothing about.  Thanks for showing and the knowledge.
Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Robswashashore on July 06, 2018, 04:57:37 AM
That is very interesting.  As my father was stationed in Greenland as a Weather Forecaster during the war, I thought I knew just about everything about Arctic activities then, but this was a new one for me.  Thank you for sharing this lovely group.  He used to always talk about Goose and Gander Bay as well, which were stopovers on the way to Bluie West One.

Jean
Title: Re: A WW2 era Arctic Exercise "Polar Bear" patch
Post by: Patchcollector on July 12, 2018, 09:36:28 PM
Thanks all for your input and comments.I found a small Blog that discusses the Exercises and shows images of the patches used for Task Force 9(Kiska invasion) Exercises Eskimo,Musk Ox,Yukon,and Sweet Briar.

Here is a link to that Blog:


https://milart.blog/2016/09/17/cold-signs-winter-exercise-patches-1944-1950/ (https://milart.blog/2016/09/17/cold-signs-winter-exercise-patches-1944-1950/)