Former OSS Spy Shares his Wartime Experiences Behind Enemy Lines

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Helias Doundoulakis remembers his extraordinary journey through World War II in new book.

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On a seemingly ordinary day in May, 1941, a boy from a tiny village in Crete, faced an unexpected threat — the invasion of German troops. He ran for cover — his first escape in a series of encounters with destiny. In his newest book, “Trained to be an OSS Spy” (published by Xlibris), he looks back to his training in one of the key intelligence agencies in World War II, his experience in espionage and his remarkable metamorphosis from boy to man, man to soldier and from soldier to spy.

That boy, Helias Doundoulakis, had just begun his perilous, but ultimately triumphant, adventures. He and his brother, George, joined an underground resistance movement, working for the English Intelligence Service (“SOE”), befriending the likes of Patrick Leigh Fermor. When the movement’s existence was revealed, they quickly escaped through the mountains of Crete, hiding from the enemy in broad daylight. Far from home, they lived from moment to moment, in a state of apprehension and uncertainty.

Doundoulakis then joined the American Army and is trained to be a spy with the Office of Strategic Services (“OSS”). His training took place in an opulent palace – the likes of which only dreams are made – but an ominous reality loomed large, where he learned to do extraordinary feats: blending in strange environments, cracking safes, transmitting ciphered messages, and killing.

As he undertook his nine-month mission in Salonica, he risked his life at every turn – operating his wireless radio in plain view – while having numerous close encounters with the Gestapo. At any given moment, he never knew whether he would be discovered.

Doundoulakis decided that if his young life were in imminent danger, he would rather take a cyanide capsule to end his life so he could avoid torture at the Gestapo’s hands. Often, he found himself seconds away from that dreaded event.

With all that he withstood, Doundoulakis survived to tell the tale. At 91, he recalls his story of survival, hope and, ultimately, victory. Every word is true — the stuff of which movies are made. His autobiographical account is a must-read for everyone intrigued by the game of life, and how it played out through the eyes of an OSS Spy, an unsung hero whom the reader will not forget. Read "Era Un Espía Americano de la OSS en Salónica: Trained to be an OSS Spy — Spanish Edition" today!

“Trained to be an OSS Spy” | Era Un Espía Americano de la OSS en Salónica
By Helias Doundoulakis; Gabriella Gafni
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 384 pages | ISBN 9781543448634
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 384 pages | ISBN 9781543448627
E-Book | 384 pages | ISBN 9781543448610
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
After the war Helias Doundoulakis, became a civil engineer and inventor, holding the patent for the world’s largest radio telescope. He is the author of two books published in Greek, the two books of “I Was Trained to be a Spy” and “My Unique Lifetime Association with Patrick Leigh Fermor.” He lives with his wife of 60 years, Rita, in Freeport, N.Y. They have four children and 10 grandchildren. For more information please visit

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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