William Ludwig Ullman

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This article is part of the
Venona
series.

Secret apparatus
Division of Monetary Research
Silvermaster group

William Ludwig Ullmann born in Springfield Missouri in 1908, graduated Harvard Business School with an MBA in 1935. Ulmann then took a job with the National Recovery Administration. There he met Nathan Gregory Silvermaster and Helen Silvermaster whom the three jointly bought a house together in 1938. In 1937 Ullman transferred to the Resettlement Administration (which became the Farm Security Administration). In 1939 Ulmann was recommended by his superior C. B. Baldwin to Harry Dexter White and hired at the Division of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury. His immediate supervisor in his new post was Frank Coe. By 1941 Ullman became White's Administrative Assistant.

Ulmann worked in the Treasury until 1942 until he was drafted. He then obtained a commission in the Army Air Force and through George Silverman was assigned to the Pentagon. He was “chief photographer of stolen government documents for the Silvermaster espionage ring” while a Major in the Material and Services Division of the Army Air Corps, headquartered at the Pentagon. This was infiltration into the highest places in government. Among the information Ullman supplied and photographed for Soviet intelligence were: aircraft production figures, allocation and allocation and deployment of aircraft, results of testing of aircraft, reports on the efficiency of particular types of planes, technological developments in aircraft manufacture, statistics regarding high octane gasoline, personal data regarding important Air Force officers, opinions of aircraft personal on other nations, Army gossip, all pertinent developments concerning planning, construction and actual completion of the B-29 Superfortress, proposed movements of the planes when they were completed, date concerning the approximate schedule of D Day, copies of directives issued to General George Marshall, and information concerning production, allocation and development of tanks, guns and motorized equipment. A considerable volume of almost every conceivable type of information relating to the United States Air Forces part in World War II.

In the basement of the Silvermaster and Ullman home, Ullman maintained a photographic darkroom for copying and processing stolen documents purloined within the Silvermaster group, and reduced it to microfilm. The volume of information became so overwhelming eventually that only negatives were completed because Ullman couldn't process the stolen documents fast enough. The information was then passed on through Elizabeth Bentley.

After his discharge in 1943, he returned to the Treasury Department. Ullman was a United States delegate to the United Nations Charter meeting at San Francisco and Bretton Woods Conference as Harry Dexter White's assistant.

Ullman was never prosecuted, became a real estate developer in New Jersey and died in 1993 with an $8 million estate.

Source

  • James Burnham, Web of Subversion
  • Haynes, John Earl & Klehr, Harvey, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, (2000). ISBN 0300084625

External link

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