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. They received advanced training in the swamps of Louisiana, and desert training in California.
Vincent’s division arrived overseas at Casablanca, French Morocco, on January 2, 1944 where over the next few months, they received amphibious training. After training, they moved on to Naples, north of the Garigliano River to defend against the Gustav Line - a heavily fortified German defensive line south of Rome that virtually grounded the allied forces to a halt. On May 11th, the 85th 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 the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.