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DailyBruin Radio – Stories of veterans, researcher strike common cord

by Paulina Sussman | Listen to DailyBruin radio presentation

UCLA's Royce Hall. UCLA photography

UCLA’s Royce Hall. UCLA photography

Years after his own UCLA graduation in the late 70′s, history major William Beigel still had the same innate eagerness to learn about the past. At 40 years old, curiosity about his father’s cousin’s disappearance during WWII led Beigel to conduct research into the history of both the war and the man’s past in an attempt to uncover the mystery. After several months of research, Beigel found answers that provided a special solace to his own father. The gratification Beigel felt from this experience led him to begin his current side job, in which he researches the unknown fates of WWII veterans for people all over the world who may be curious like his father was. As a recent project Beigel has uncovered the hidden past of more than 260 UCLA veterans. Daily Bruin Radio reporter Paulina Sussman reconstructs Beigel’s research and recounts his stories of a hospital apprentice and an air force pilot. Their tales of inspiration, heartbreak and courage, though they may seem distant, prove to be much more familiar than we might expect.