Arizona man's search reunites WWII soldiers

Man finds stories of those who served with his father

By Peter Corbett

The Arizona Republic

Published: Monday, Dec. 24 2012 8:09 p.m. MST

He was also deeply troubled by his experiences after Germany surrendered. Because he spoke German fluently, Pfc. Huegel was ordered to go out and find Germans who were fleeing the Russians and wanted to surrender to the Americans, the younger Peter Huegel said.

He carried the guilt of this because he believed that the Germans he brought in were somehow key figures in the subsequent Cold War arms race, Huegel said.

It was a heavy burden.

"My dad took his own life," he said. "He showed no signs of mental illness until late in the fall of 1974.

"He was hospitalized about four times for depression between then and his death on Oct. 10, 1975."

Peter Huegel was buried in the military section of Canton's Forest Hills Cemetery marked by a large cannon. The American flag draped on his casket and his Army uniform are in a steamer trunk in his son's family room.

Huegel said it was rewarding meeting with Rossetti and Basurto.

"I honestly don't know what exact details I was searching for, but I felt any tidbit was better than nothing," he said.

"One of my most special moments was when Tony was watching the video and a photo of my dad came on the screen," Huegel said. "Tony broke into a smile and just said, 'Yeah, there's Pete.' "

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