Honor. Silence. Now, 7 decades later, his story.

By Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK

(Vicki Cronis-Nohe | The Virginian-Pilot)
(Vicki Cronis-Nohe | The Virginian-Pilot)

The sun was hidden behind clouds as the young Army officer and one of his soldiers motored through the south German countryside.

Suddenly, they were overcome by the stench of rotting corpses.

The two men glanced at each other but said nothing. Both had an idea of the horrors that awaited them at Dachau; neither dared speak of it.

Nearly seven decades would pass before Col. Eddie Shames finally broke his silence. With trembling hands and a steady voice Sunday at Temple Israel, the 90-year-old Norfolk native told the story of being one of the first American soldiers to reach German concentration camps. Continue reading “Honor. Silence. Now, 7 decades later, his story.”

Oceana chief: Right man at right time for jet crash

By Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH

(Ross Taylor | The Virginian-Pilot)

Bob Geis, just three weeks into his job as commander of Oceana Naval Air Station, is flying back from an aviation conference in San Diego.

It’s midday on April 6, 2012 – Good Friday.

Hundreds of miles away, at Oceana, an F/A-18 Hornet rockets off a runway at 160 mph. Almost immediately, the aviators know something isn’t right.

In the sky above north Texas, Geis and his wife, Teresa, talk about lessons from the Navy conference, where they had attended a lecture on leadership in times of crisis.

They sip water from small plastic cups and discuss strategies for getting off to a good start during his tenure leading the master jet base.

By the time the Hornet’s second engine stalls, there’s nothing the pilots can do. After 25 seconds of flight, having reached an altitude of 452 feet, the fighter jet starts to fall.

Continue reading “Oceana chief: Right man at right time for jet crash”