Mechanic Albert E. Geltz served in Company H of the 339th Infantry Regiment of the 85th Division, U.S. Army, which was deployed to North Russia from Sept. 1918 through June 1919 as part of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force (ANREF). The ANREF consisted of approximately 5,200 soldiers drawn from the 85th Division who were sent to North Russia by President Wilson to participate in the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War on the side of the White Russians.
Geltz was assigned to the Onega Front along with others from Company H. Their Company had a ceremonial type of US Flag which they flew over their post, but it quickly deteriorated in the harsh Russian weather. While recovering from a wound, Geltz found an Imperial Russian flag, pulled it apart and with the assistance of other wounded men from his Company, they reassembled it into 13 red and white stripes with a blue field, on which Geltz painted 48 white stars. Geltz brought the flag home with him in 1919 and 60 years later donated it to the Michigan Heroes Museum which has it on permanent display along with two other US Flags which flew over Russian soil.