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Helias Doundoulakis, Recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award

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WWII O.S.S. Soldiers Honored in Astoria, Queens, NY, for Service Behind the Lines in Nazi-Occupied Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia.

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About the Book
An American-born boy grew up in a small village on the Greek island of Crete. In his last year in high school,...

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• Introduction into the group of the OSS training spy school Cairo Egypt , October 1943

It was the first day, a mostly hot day in October 1943. An introduction to this peculiar form of war, “spy” training, if you will, in the Secret Intelligence and Special Operations section of the.....

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"...Doundoulakis is able to evoke the suspense and thrilling detail of his many narrow escapes and also convey his youthful sense of excitement and adventure. His intimate rendering of the adversity Greek civilians faced during the war is particularly moving....

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I Was Trained To Be A Spy

by Helias Doundoulakis

“There are no bugles for buddies to spur them on…for it is one thing to go into battle with hundreds of others, quite another thing to drop silently into the very midst of the enemy with only your wits to save you. Wits and a colossal amount of steel-nerved courage. They are alone, alone in every way, alone in their work, alone in their very livelihood, alone especially in their thoughts. They must be wary of every contact, guarded of every word, cautious in every they eat, where they sleep and where they work. It is all up to them alone. Then, the most terrifying of all possibilities becomes reality; when one is captured, and the spy is irretrievably, cruelly alone…his very existence is ignored and those closest to him desert him. He lives with torture, or he dies, alone…his death is just vanishing and unknown, his grave unmarked.


No one knows for certain what makes a good agent and unless you are able to look on the whole business of espionage and sabotage as a tremendous gamble, you shouldn't be involved in it. Nerve? Certainly. But what passes for nerve under even the most rigorous training may turn devastating when the chips are down and the agent finds himself on his own among enemies. Patriotism and loyalty? Of course. But who is to say that these will not fade under torture and turn the most steadfast operative into the most dreaded of all espionage weapons, the double agent. Intelligence? Without it your man is dead for, once in enemy territory and on his own completely.


  So you gamble...


  It seems incredible that some thirty thousand people could keep a secret. It is more unbelievable when one realizes that those thirty thousand persons were scattered throughout the world. They represented every nationality, every type of individual, every religion, every political belief, every economic condition. Yet such was the vast complex of the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS.”


Robert Hayden Alcorn, No Bugles for Spies , 1962


  In I Was Trained To Be A Spy, you’ll find characters with their pain and misfortune, and the wit and courage of those who survived. . . detailed descriptions of spy training at the secret spy school in Cairo. . . witness how a simple, un-assuming youth adapted to each spine-tingling situation, while working under the noses of the Gestapo, and the skillful ways he used to avoid capture. From his escape to Egypt, the training at OSS HQ in Cairo, his mission, and to his final discharge from the US Army. . . I Was Trained to Be a Spy is sure to fascinate all who enjoy adventure and the world of espionage.


“My life was a game that had many interesting faces, had been played dangerously, and luckily enough, the winning way.”


Helias Doundoulakis, I Was Trained To Be A Spy , 2008