Joseph R. Picard was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 25, 1925. He was drafted into the Army on August 10, 1943 and was trained as a Cannoneer of a 240mm Howitzer at the Field Artillery Training Center at Fort Bragg prior to being shipped overseas. He was appointed Battery Clerk and in April, 1944, was sent overseas to England. After completing training, they moved across the channel. On June 28th and 29th, his unit disembarked on the French coast at Utah Beach and started firing their guns on June 30th, 1944. From then on until early September, they supported the 1st Army through Normandy and Northern France. Later that month, they moved into the vicinity of Aachen, Germany and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in support of the 18th Airborne Corps. On November 5, his best friend, Raymond A. Bolduc was killed by shrapnel from an oncoming artillery shell. After the Bulge, they made their way further into Germany where the 552nd fought from the Roer River to the Rhine River and supported the Remagen bridgehead. At the end of the war they had occupation duty and Joe was discharged on January 1, 1946.