Hélène Deschamps file photo [24739]

Hélène Deschamps

Given NameHélène
Born30 Jan 1921
Died16 Sep 2006


ww2dbaseHélène Marguerite Deschamps was born to a French military officer in the French concession area of Tianjin, China in 1921. Her upbringing took place in China, French West Africa, Madagascar, and Réunion. Her family returned to France upon her father's retirement from military service. During the German occupation of France during WW2, she abandoned her studies to become an active member of the resistance. She began as a courier, but before long she took on missions that had her reporting on German positions and assisting downed Allied airmen. She operated under the code name "Anick". For some time she also took on a job as a secretary at the Milice headquarters in Vichy, France, where she saved many Jews from being executed by removing their name cards from files and flushing them down the toilet. She suffered serious back injury at the hands of a French interrogator when she was caught near a planted explosive device. She married US Army officer First Lieutenant Forest E. Adams in 1946 and took on his surname; she relocated with Adams to the United States later in the same year. Forest Adams passed away in 1951, and she would never re-marry. In 1980, she published The Secret War of Helene de Champlain based on her war time experiences, under a nom de plume. In 1995, she published her memoir under the title of Spyglass: An Autobiography. She was promised honors and compensation by the US Office of Strategic Services, which she was briefly a member of, but that did not come until 2000 when she was awarded the US award Distinguished Service Medal. She passed away from congestive heart failure in New York, New York, United States in 2006.

The New York Times

Last Major Revision: Nov 2015

Hélène Deschamps Timeline

30 Jan 1921 Hélène Deschamps was born in the French concession area of Tianjin, China.
16 Sep 2006 Hélène Adams passed away in New York, New York, United States.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Karyn Monget says:
13 May 2018 01:35:56 PM

She was my mom, and was always a true patriot.

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