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Critically-acclaimed author, M.G. Crisci, tells Museum audience why the Russian-American secret mission Project Zebra, remains one of WW2’s last great untold stories.

Museum of the Albemarle Promotional Poster Promoting the Elizabeth City Event.


ELIZABETH CITY, NC. Elizabeth City’s 23rd Annual Ghost Walk weekend celebrated the city’s role in one of WW2’s most controversial missions that for over 70 years.

The event, rated one of the South’s top 20 Fall tourist attractions, recreated scenes from Crisci’s best-selling book, Project Zebra, which chronicled how 300 Soviet air aces were brought to America and secretly trained to fly 185 giant amphibious warplanes—produced in Philadelphia—by a dozen hand-picked US Navy officers. At war’s end, President Truman ordered the documents classified. They remained as such for the next 70 years. The prestigious Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, calls Crisci’s book, “a sensitive retrospective of one of the last great untold stories of WW2.”

M.G., told the sold-out audience in the City’s Albermarle Museum auditorium, “Project Zebra turned out to be more than just a military mission; it was a model lesson in human behavior against all the odds. People from countries with different languages, customs, and traditions, holding incorrect stereotypes of the other, worked respectfully for mankind’s common good. According to Soviet records, the huge (about the size of today’s 737 jetliners) completed more than 2,000 missions without losing a single plane.”


The opening slide from Crisci’s multi-media museum presentation includes a rare historical photo of one of the planes and all 320 men who participated in the mission.


Despite the strained relations between the U.S. and Russia today, three members of the Russian embassy in Washington D.C. made a surprise appearance at the museum and subsequently visited the Arts Center, home to a bronze which commemorates the mission.

View the Project Zebra on


L to R. Gregory Gargarin Jr, son of the last living American Zebra, author Crisci, Elena Gritsenko, attache to the Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C., and Joseph Peel, former Mayor of Elizabeth City, and the bronze memorial.


DATE: Jan.06.2020 | CATEGORY: | COMMENTS: 0