Pickell, Arthur C

Arthur C. Pickell Jr. was born in 1926 to Arthur and Grace Pickell who lived in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Arthur was their only child.

Arthur attended Downingtown High School graduating in 1943. He played in the school’s orchestra and was a member of the French Club. The yearbook describes him as:  "a swell fellow, loves fun, and was nicknamed “Pick”. It says Arthur loved Smilin’ Jack and the Shadow. Smiling Jack was a comic strip about a dashing aviator which ran from 1933-1973, The Shadow was popular fictional Crime fighter (his famous saying was “The Shadow knows”) which was best known for its serial radio broadcast in the 1930’s-1940’s.

Arthur began his service in the Army on November 2, 1943. After basic training he was assigned to the 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division (the "Red Bulls"). This is the same Regiment and Division that Hero Norman Becker from West Chester served.
The 135th Infantry Regiment served Tunisia, North Africa, and then moved to Italy, landing at Montemarano in September, 1943. It participated in the fighting to liberate the Montaquilla and Mount Pantano areas in November and December.

In January, Arthur’s Regiment was involved in the attack against Monte Casino which anchored the German “Winter Line” defenses. This seemed like an impenetrable wall, which caused a long delay in Italy’s liberation, and thousands of casualties.

Arthur’s Regiment later landed at Anzio in March, an amphibious operation behind enemy lines, but against a well-entrenched enemy, again causing heavy casualties. The original landings occurred on January 22, 1944, but the fierce battle was not won until May 24th. After defeating the Germans in the Anzio area, the 5th Army, including Arthur’s 135th Regiment, swiftly moved north liberating Rome on June 4th.

After a well deserved rest, the 135th moved through positions held by the 144th Regiment to the Cecina River. They crossed the river on July 1st-2nd and encircled the heavily defended town of Cecina.

Private Arthur Pickell was Killed In Action on July 5, 1944. Arthur is buried at the Florence American Cemetery, in Florence Italy.


Research by Don Wambold, WCMSC