Dept of Interesting Missions -A Kiss by God - By the Publisher

    It must have been around 0630 hours when we took off on a routine RC-130 mission out of Homestead on a cloudy morning sometime in 1969. I can’t remember all the crew that was along that day, Espy was the AMS, and it was “Double O” Ortiz’ first airborne mission.  I think we were SPICY ACTION — the guy who thought-up that name must have been looking in Hank Hernandez’ lunch box - a lunch which we all shared and came to be the basis for our BEANERS name - full of lots of burritos with incredibly hot salsa! It was a few minutes after take off and I was showing Double O the routines of the plane, you know, the john, food warmers and the like, when a ball of fire appeared across one porthole. The plane shook a little but it was over quickly. My eyes were still open like large saucers, still in shock, when Double O asks, “hey, Jorge, was that normal? “No, mi hermano,” I said, as we both peered out of the porthole into the early morning sky shimmering with lightning flashes. We went on to a normal mission and, after landing, we discovered a hole about the size of a 50-cent coin dead center on the nose of the RC-130, spider-webbed with cracks all around the fiber glass. The plane had been hit by lightning - a kiss from God! We headed for the NCO Club for a stiff one.



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Last updated: 01/26/07.