Richard Gerald Pieper was born on January 15, 1924 in Keota, Iowa to Raymond and Iris (Shoffer) Pieper. After he finished one year of college, Richard (#37673102) was drafted into the Army on June 15, 1943 at Camp Dodge Herrold, Iowa. After different types of training he ended up with the 97th Infantry Division, 303th Regiment, K Company. His unit was trained by the Marines to prepare for amphibious landings in the Pacific. He didn’t go to the Pacific Theater however as his unit was send to the ETO where arrived after the Battle of the Bulge on February 19, 1945. Richard saw his first action in combat in Maindorf, Germany. Along the way, the 97th Division fought across Germany, especially at Siegburg near Cologne, at the Bridge at Remagen, and liberated Flossenburg Concentration Camp. After crossing over to the Czech Republic, the division liberated Cheb, Marienbad, Carlsbad, and many other cities on their way to Pilsen.
The 97th Infantry Division were a part of Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army, which met the Russian Army at the Demarkation Line just outside of Pilsen in the Czech Republic to mark the end of the war.