Trained to be an OSS Spy by Helias Doundoulakis

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"'You only live twice, once when you are born and once when you look death in the face,'" Basho wrote more than 300 years ago. Doundoulakis conveys that sense of being fully alive, as he transmitted an amazing 400 clandestine radio signals as an OSS spy. This is a tale you are not likely to find elsewhere, one that rings with authenticity."
-BlueInk Review

Synopsis

On an ordinary day in May 1941, a boy from a village in Crete faces an unexpected threat – the invasion of German troops. He runs for cover – his first escape in a series of encounters with destiny. The boy and his brother work for the SOE, an underground branch of the English Intelligence Service. When the resistance movement is uncovered, they escape through the mountains of Crete, hiding from the enemy in broad daylight. In Egypt, the boy joins the American Army and trains to be a spy for the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services), the SOE’s newly formed American intelligence counterpart. Sent back to Salonica, Greece, the boy continually risks his life, operating a wireless radio in plain view. Will the German police ever discover his wireless, in a factory once owned by Greek Jews? If captured, the boy resolves to take a poison capsule that will end his young life, rather than endure torture. Often, he finds himself seconds away from death. Imagine the Victory of living to tell the tale at age 91, and his metamorphosis from boy to man, man to soldier, and soldier to spy.

 

The author’s story was featured in the documentary Camp X: Secret Agent School on History Channel in Canada, and the Smithsonian Channel’s, World War II Spy School

 

REVIEWS

“An unvarnished, understated tale, full of youthful mistakes and narrow escapes, the book is written in a straightforward, conversational style. …

"You only live twice, once when you are born and once when you look death in the face,’ Japanese poet Matsuo Basho wrote more than 300 years ago. Doundoulakis skillfully conveys that sense of being fully alive, as he transmitted an amazing 400 clandestine radio signals as an OSS spy. This is a tale you are not likely to find elsewhere, one that rings with authenticity.”

     —BlueInk Review

“Helias Doundoulakis, now in his nineties, shares the story of his time in the shadowy world of espionage in Trained to be an OSS Spy ...  It's a story they're not likely to find anywhere else.”

     —Foreword Clarion Review

“The author's memoir perfectly encapsulates the mixed feelings of his younger self; he was only 20 when sent to the city of Salonica, an event that was both exhilarating and terrifying. His flight from Greece, where he and others hid in caves, is an intense episode, as is his secret passage back into the country. ... Treads familiar territory ... but readers new to his work will enjoy the exciting life he's chosen to share.”

     —Kirkus Reviews

 

About Helias Doundoulakis

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Helias Doundoulakis was only two years old when his family moved from America to the Greek island of Crete. He was twenty-two when the war ended in 1945, during which time he was transformed from resistance fighter to soldier in the American Army. Due in part to his experience with the SOE and fluency in Greek, English and German, he was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (the OSS). This would be his life-changing moment. After the war, he became a civil engineer and inventor, holding the patent for the world's largest radio telescope, the "Arecibo Antenna." Aside from the present narrative, he is the author of two books, published in Greek, and three others: I Was Trained To Be A Spy Books I and II, and My Unique Lifetime Association With Patrick Leigh Fermor. The author lives with his wife of sixty years, Rita, in Freeport, New York. They have four children and ten grandchildren. Gabriella Gafni is an acclaimed ghostwriter and owner of GMG Ghostwriting Services. She holds a B.A. in foreign languages and cultures, and a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She and her family presently reside in North Carolina.
 
Published September 23, 2014 by Xlibris US. 361 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
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BlueInk Review

Excellent
on Dec 06 2016

"'You only live twice, once when you are born and once when you look death in the face,'" Basho wrote more than 300 years ago. Doundoulakis conveys that sense of being fully alive, as he transmitted an amazing 400 clandestine radio signals as an OSS spy. This is a tale you are not likely to find elsewhere, one that rings with authenticity."

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