ADOLPHA M. MEYER
US ARMY NURSE CORPS 1941-1948
Adolpha M. Meyer was born 12-JUN 1905 and lived at 5323 Lindenwood Place in South St. Louis. Her mother was Caroline Wilhelmine Anna Buck. (1878–1960). Her father was Martin Thomas Meyer (1859–1926). She had one brother, Henry William Meyer (1908–1991).
Adolpha graduated from the City Hospital School of Nursing in 1927. Before enlisting, she was the Superintendent of the Surgical ward at City Hospital and later worked as a private duty nurse there. She spent the 1940 season at Camp Meenagha as a counselor at the all-girls camp in Wisconsin before entering the service. The camp was started by two single mothers from St. Louis, Frances Louise Mabley and Alice Orr Clark. They wanted these girls to be prepared for a changing world and to be able to present themselves in society and in the working world.
Adolpha enlisted 5-FEB 1941 and her first assignment was in ward 16-W at Jefferson Barracks. Adolpha’s next assignment was to the Philippines. Adolpha was assigned to Nichol’s Field a U.S. military airfield located just ten miles south of Manila. Established in 1919 as Camp Nichols, when the Philippines was a U.S. colony, the field was strategic for defense of Manila and Luzon island’s coast.
Before the war, an assignment to bases surrounding Manila in 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 Army 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.\
Then on 7-DEC 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Adolpha 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.
Angels of Bataan Cover Sheet MeyerAdolpha