Bickel, Vincent J

Vincent J. Bickel was born in 1920 and lived Phoenixville , Pennsylvania. He graduated from St. Ann’s Parish School and later attended Phoenixville High School.

After high school, Vincent worked at Hubbell’s Bakery, rising to the level of a foreman. 

Vincent joined the Army in September 1943, and after basic training was assigned to the 338th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division - the same division as Leroy Barnes (Downingtown), William Carey (West Chester), Walter Ford (Coatesville) and James Marinelli (Downingtown).
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The 85th was the second all draftee division to enter combat during World War II. The Division was activated at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in the spring of 1942. The Division received advanced training in the swamps of Louisiana, and Desert Training in California.

Vincent’s division arrived overseas at Casablanca, French Morocco, in North Africa January 2, 1944. They received amphibious training in Algeria from February to March. They arrived in Naples on March 28th. The division was sent north of the Garigliano River to defend against the GUSTAV Line. The GUSTAV Line was a German heavily fortified defensive line south of Rome, which virtually ground the Allied forces to a halt. On May 11th the Division launched its attack on the GUSTAV Line.

Technician 5th Class Vincent J. Bickel was Killed In Action On May 13, 1944, in Italy. He is buried at theSicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. 


Researched by: Don Wambold, member WCMSC