Skip to main content

Stanley Rehder Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-373

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers and audiovisual materials relating to Stanley Rehder's World War II experience and work as a Venus flytrap enthusiast. The World War II series of this collection includes newspaper clippings and research pertaining to the 1944 Christmas Eve sinking of the S.S. Leopoldville. Rehder was a lieutenant aboard the ship at the time, and this collection includes the writings Rehder created to memorialize the event as well as documents of Rehder's veteran organization. The Venus flytrap series of this collection includes photographs, slides, VHS tapes, broadcasting tapes, journal articles, legislation, and notes that emphasize Rehder's dedication to preserving the carnivorous plant.


  • Creation: 1946-2012


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

George Stanley Rehder was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on February 11, 1922, the son of Jessie Stewart Rehder and Carl Frederick William Rehder. Known to most as Stanley, he graduated from New Hanover County High School in 1939 and attended North Carolina State College (now, University). At NC State, Rehder was a member of the ROTC program before being called to duty in the army during World War II. Rehder attended Officer Candidate School, trained as an artilleryman, and became a lieutenant for the 66th Infantry Division mortar crew. On Christmas Eve in 1944, Rehder was aboard the S.S. Leopoldville when it was attacked by a German submarine in the English Channel. Nearly 800 men died that night, but Rehder survived the sinking by departing the ship on a lifeboat with as many men he could convince to come with him. Later during the war, he earned a Bronze Star as a result of his involvement in the march into Germany with the 66th division.

After his service, Rehder returned to NC State and completed a degree in horticulture, graduating in 1947. He then joined his family's floral business in Wilmington, before taking over operations of the wholesale arm known as Rehder's Greenhouses. Additionally, Rehder fostered a lifelong interest in the conservation and preservation of carnivorous plants including the Venus Flytrap. He spent more than twenty years transplanting and cultivating insectivorous species on a site in Wilmington that is now known as "The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden." He also lobbied state legislators and officials to protect these plants and advocated for tougher penalties againt flytrap poachers.

In 1948, Rehder married Louise Davis of Wilmington and the couple had two children.

Stanley Rehder died on October 1, 2012 and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.


7 Containers (Contains 5 document boxes, 1 bankers box, and 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into two series: World War II Papers and Venus Flytrap Materials.

There are two sub-series within the World War II Papers that organize the series by content, which are S.S. Leopoldville Sinking and Service Documents/Veteran Commemoration.

There are three sub-series within the Venus Flytrap Materials that organize the series by type of material, which are Photographs/Slides, Papers, and Media.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Julie Rehder on November 24, 2008.


An addition was donated by Mary Ames Booker in July 2024.

Related Materials

This collection is associated with MS 068 Jessie Rehder Papers ( and MS 314 Rehder Family Papers ( Stanley Rehder is siblings with Jessie Rehder and a member of the Rehder family.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kensi Laube in Summer 2021.

Stanley Rehder Papers
Kensi Laube
2021 May 27
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository