|Alfred C. Ulmer Jr.|
August 26, 1916|
|Died||June 22, 2000
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Alfred Ulmer was born in Jacksonville, Florida in August 1916. He was of Swiss extraction on his father's side, his father having been born in Zurich. Ulmer graduated from Princeton University in 1939 and joined the United States Navy prior to the start of World War II, ultimately becoming a major head of intelligence operations during World War II. He married Doris Gibson Bridges and had three sons (Alfred III, James and Nicolas) and a daughter (Marguerite). He received the Intelligence Medal of Merit when he retired from his position in 1962. Ulmer then went on to business and in the 1980s joined the Swiss banking firm Lombard Odier et Cie. in Geneva, later setting up Lombard Odier's operations in Bermuda. He died on June 22, 2000 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Career in intelligence
Ulmer began his career in intelligence as a major head of intelligence operations for the Navy during World War II. He then joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1945 and oversaw operatives gathering information in Turkey, Egypt, Italy and Austria.
When the OSS was disbanded in 1945, Ulmer was recruited by the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to become head of the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) in Austria. As a head of the SSU in Austria, Ulmer expanded his base of operations to include the whole Balkans area including such controversial places as Yugoslavia and Hungary. Although the SSU lacked the personnel to effectively carry out covert operations, Ulmer pushed for more money and was finally rewarded by a $150,000 annual budget. His glory at the SSU was short lived though as the SSU was soon liquidated into the CIA by the new Central European Section chief, Richard Helms.
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After the SSU was liquidated, Ulmer was given a position as head of Far East operations for the CIA. At his new position Ulmer coordinated the overthrow of the president of Indonesia (Sukarno) in 1957. The main reason behind the rebellion was to rid Indonesia of its growing Communist Party of Indonesia. The rebellion was a failure, and many criticized Ulmer for the subsequent failure. He worked in Athens from 1952 to 1955 and in Paris from 1958 to 1962. Barbara Bush, the wife of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, wrote in her memoirs that she and her husband had lunch with Ulmer during the week of 22 November 1963. The former president apparently cannot remember where he was at that time, (while most Americans cannot forget where they were when they heard the news) although he called the FBI in Dallas, Texas, from Tyler, Texas, two hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.[clarification needed] Ulmer later went into business in London.
- Safe For Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA by John Prados (2006) ISBN 1-56663-574-8
- Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner (2007) ISBN 978-0-385-51445-3
"Piercing the Reich"