An American-born boy grew up in a small village on the Greek island of Crete. In his last years in high school, he witnessed the German invasion of Crete, in May of 1941, during the early years of WW II. At the age of eighteen, he joined a resistance group headed by his brother, and supplied crucial information to the SOE, the arm of the English Intelligence Service. This resistance group is uncovered, resulting in their hasty evacuation by the SOE, to Cairo, Egypt.
In Cairo, the author and his brother were asked to join the English Intelligence Service, but rather, pursued the American OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, the newly formed American intelligence counterpart. They were enlisted into the US Army, and attached to the OSS, where the author was trained in the SI, or Secret Intelligence sector, which included parachute jumping, wireless/Morse code training, commando/defense training, locks/safe-cracking techniques, escape methods, and environment assimilation techniques.
After being transformed into a skilled “spy”, the author was sent back to Greece undercover, and along with a Greek naval intelligence officer, set up a communications cell in Salonica, Greece’s second largest city, whereby daily coded messages to OSS Headquarters in Cairo were sent. One such message describes the course of events surrounding the bombing of the main railroad yard in Salonica, and the loss of thousands of German troops, as well as recalling the near-capture encounters with the German Gestapo and the Greek police. The author also recounts his personal experiences of his escape from Crete through the mountains, the evacuations by an English torpedo boat, his OSS training, the return mission to Greece, and his final return to the United States.
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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...."
"...no matter how exceptional his post-war experience, it shrinks in comparison to tales of avoiding the Gestapo behind enemy lines and practicing the arts of intelligence..."
"...Exciting, first-hand account of a World War II spy."
- Kirkus Discoveries, A review service from Kirkus Reviews