[ skip to content ]


John Fahey, associate professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures, will sign copies of his new book, "Licensed to Spy: With the Top Secret Military Liaison Mission in East Germany," at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 18 at Prince Books, 109 E. Main St., Norfolk.

As a young Naval airship aviator, Fahey was a combat airship commander during World War II. After the war he flew airships in hunter-killer operations from aircraft carriers. His crew was the first to be qualified in airship night carrier landings. A Russian linguist during the Cold War, he was assigned to the Russian army as an American liaison officer in East Germany and played a key role in the Berlin Wall crisis. When tensions were at the highest on Aug. 13, 1961, he was in the East behind the Wall. Despite many arrests for spying and espionage, Commander Fahey's excellent Russian language fluency helped him to survive two years of exciting and challenging incidents in face-to-face confrontations with the Russians.

An astonishing tale of overt reconnaissance, high-speed car chases, shootings, and detentions, the book chronicles Fahey's two years in the midst of 22 divisions of Soviet troops behind the Iron Curtain. As a member of a military liaison mission established in a little-known 1947 agreement between U.S. and soviet forces, the author was legally permitted to perform surveillance in East Germany and took advantage of the opportunity to conduct dangerous intelligence missions.

This article was posted on: May 13, 2002

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.