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Top-secret mission recently declassified: Project Zebra

There is still buried treasure out there, and there are still buried, top secret WWII missions just recently declassified, like Project Zebra.

Get ready for an amazing, largely forgotten top secret story in which the military of the United States and Russia worked side by side on the entire project, which was carried out right here on U.S. soil at a critical juncture during WWII. Project Zebra sounds like a James Bond or Mission Impossible title, and as usual, I will bring to light truths that are even more captivating and intriguing than what you see on the silver screen. This will be my third book in the Russian trilogy, after Call Sign, White Lily and 7 Days in Russia.

Most ever knew that U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Russian leader Joseph Stalin co-created a top-secret mission to train 300 Soviet airmen in America, to fly an American-made plane the likes of which had never been seen before. 

Project Zebra


Project Zebra remains a largely unknown mission which I demystify in my next book, after The Salad Oil King.

It’s almost as if it never happened because in today’s America it would seem very strange to have hundreds of highly trained Russian military officers right here in North Carolina working on plans for a covert war machine that was a difference maker against the Nazi juggernaut starting to show an Achilles heel.

I was lucky enough to interview the last known participant in this mission, Gregory G. Gagarin, as well as researching all of the declassified files, available only since January 2013. I have more never-seen-before documents than a spy might have, making this book a very intriguing read.

“The entire project was top-secret,” said Gregory G. Gagarin, who was a Navy avionics specialist and translator stationed in Elizabeth City. His parents had immigrated to the United States from Russia in the 1920s.

The Third in The Russian Trilogy by M.G. Crisci

The end of my Russian trilogy may be a case of saving the best for last, although each of my books has its own unique focus. In Project Zebra, the military engineering and plans to pilot the most advanced amphibious warplane ever created takes center stage. 185 of these amazing warplanes were made in Philadelphia, each holding a crew of 11 and enough bombs to blow up a city. This is a story that has never been told in the intricate detail that I apply, after pouring over many previously classified documents. By managing to collaborate with the last known survivor, the real details come to the surface to add color to history’s storyline. What Gregory Gagarin contributes about his experience is stuff you can’t make up, and a story that certainly matters.


Enough Firepower to Level a City

A U.S. Navy program known as Project Zebra brought pilots and crew members from the Soviet Union to the Elizabeth City Coast Guard base towards the end of World War II. The mission was to train the crew on a modified version of the PBY Catalina, an aircraft known as “the flying boat” because it could land and take off from the water. The model going to the Soviet Union was the PBN-1 Nomad, built by the Naval Aircraft Factory.

The mission the book will reveal involves finding German submarines and dropping ordnance on them.

Russians Enjoying the American Way

While the mission was covert, the Russians often traveled into downtown Elizabeth City to buy American products from popular stores such as F.W. Woolworth, Gagarin said. They could not speak English, but they carried U.S. currency issued by Russian banks. They stayed some nights at the Virginia Dare Hotel, still an Elizabeth City landmark.

Can you imagine Russians taking pictures of themselves in the Chesapeake Bay area, and enjoying the benefits of the American Way on the cusp of the end of WWII and the start of the Cold War? My travels into Russia have revealed very interesting and insightful details that are relevant to events in the world today, and my book on Project Zebra may go deeper than any American author ever has on a Russian-American military collaboration. 

First, pick up my current book, The Salad Oil King, and then get ready to get Project Zebra – with a target release date of November 1st.

Find out more about my whole library of book titles available for purchase on Amazon now and until next time, thanks for taking the journey with me.


DATE: Sep.18.2017 | CATEGORY: | COMMENTS: 0