|Grave marker for
MSgt (ret.) Ulo Tall in the Woodman Cemetery, Leslie (Franklin County),
He was born in 1930 in the village of
Assamalla, Estonia a few miles SSE of Rakvere.
Ulo's father had been an Estonian policeman who was
imprisoned for a year by the Russians before being executed and his
mother was sent to Siberia.
Following the end of WW-II, he fled the
country, perhaps to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. He somehow
found his way to the U.S. as a Displaced Person in July 1947. He
spoke fluent Russian, Estonian, and proficient German upon his arrival
country. He never heard from or saw the rest of his family after
arriving in the States.
On July 16th of that year he was issued a temporary
passport by the New York Consul of the Republic of Estonia that was
valid for two years, expiring on July 16, 1949.
How he managed to overstay the limits of that
temporary passport's expiration date is unknown, but on 1 Oct 1951 he
enlisted in the U.S. Army and subsequently volunteered for parachutist
duty. He completed jump school at Fort Benning in April 1952.
Ulo initially was assigned to the 508 RCT Regimental staff during the
1950s and later transferred to the 1st Armored Division.
He rose rapidly in rank attaining the grade of
Corporal in his first 2 years and had become a MSgt (E7) within 8 years
when he transferred into the Army Reserves. He may have retired at
According to family sources, "After he was in the
reserves and sometime in 1962, he was recruited by ????? and was sent
away from home for months at a time and not allowed any contact.
His wife thought it might be the CIA, but who knows. Two men came to
their house and sent the family outside (his wife and two small
children) so they could speak. She was never sure who they were. He was
given a list of books to read and was the only one who did not have a
college education in his group."
MSgt Tall never spoke to his family of his escape from
Estonia nor of his later years in the Army. On
Jun 12 1976 Ulo was
at home in Beaufort, Missouri with his 14-year old son and had a heart
attack. He died before any help could arrive.