Rose E. Rieper was born 19 Apr 1903 in St. Louis Missouri.  Her father was Charles H. Rieper (1872-1928) and her mother was Emma Wicklein Rieper (1875-1936).  She had three brothers; Albert, Aloise, and Henry and four sisters; Lillie, Beatta, Anna, and Mildred.  Rose lived in Wellsville Missouri before joining the Army. Later she lived with a family friend, Mrs. Luehweamann in St. Louis.

Rose was a 1928 graduate of the Nursing School of Lutheran Hospital.  Before enlisting, she was a nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  Rose enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps on 5-FEB 1941.  In February 1941 Rose Rieper and Adolpha Meyer, a fellow St. Louisan, was assigned to duty at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.  Rose was assigned to the Philippines 23-OCT 1941.

An assignment to the Philippines was much coveted by the Army nurses then on active duty. The balmy green islands were a paradise for liberty, and the ratio of patients to medical personnel ensured a reasonable work schedule for the nurses assigned to the various Anny medical installations on the islands. For the Army nurses there, it was a time when duty hours were often shortened and they worked half shifts because of light patient load, and liberty opportunities were unlimited. Many of the nurses took advantage of their abundant free time to develop their golf or tennis game. Night life might consist of dinner and drinks at the Army-Navy Club in Manila, followed by evening gowns, dress uniforms, dancing, and entertainment at the popular Manila Hotel. In such a carefree atmosphere, romances flourished.

Then on 7-DEC 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed.  Rose was about to become one of the first U.S. Army Nurses assigned to a battlefield.  For the rest of her story, click on the link below.  


Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.