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“One of the last great untold stories of WW2.”

-American Russian Cultural Foundation

March 1943. The first Soviet Zebras and their American training counterparts on the tarmac in Elizabeth City, NC

For 19 months during World War II, President Roosevelt and Premier Stalin did the inconceivable!

They authorized a little-known mission called Project Zebra, which was finally declassified in 2013, making it one of the war’s last never-been-told stories.

Zebra is the only documented instance in history where Russian flying aces and their crews were trained in America by Americans. They learned to fly a state-of-the-art, heavily-armed amphibious warplane called the PBN-Nomad.

America produced 186 of these huge 11-crew planes in Philadelphia and quietly ferried them to the patriotic town of Elizabeth City, North Carolina (population 12,000). There, a select group of 11 U.S. Naval officers trained 300+ Soviet airmen while the town and the media kept their secret.

Ultimately, these heavily-armed Nomads destroyed numerous Nazi U-boats and Japanese submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters without losing a single plane.

During their time together, the Russian and American teams shared experiences that created bonds of trust and mutual respect, and became lifelong friends, despite language barriers and cultural differences.

Russians teach Americans how to play backgammon during Project Zebra beer-break

Every page of Project Zebra was designed to make complex history approachable to future generations, and serve as a model of how two superpowers, working together can make the world a better, safer place for everybody.

DATE: Oct.03.2018 | CATEGORY: Archived