Reposted in memory of my shipmates. The Navy Hymn connects the paragraphs.
An orange fireball blots the sky, a mass of white-black cloud shot through with flame. The Navy P-3 Orion yaws as the #3 engine burns and trails an undulating line of black smoke. The starboard wing folds up and shears away; with lift gone the aircraft rolls to starboard. The Orion rolls and rolls, white belly and windscreens alternately reflecting the sun, then tumbles, veering earthward. Eight men, already dead inside, but well-trained and mechanically going through the motions for emergency procedures. Pull up! Pull up! Pull up! Each man prays in his own way. Pull up! Pull up for God’s sake! Some call to God. Some call for mother. Pull up! Pull up! Pull up! Pull up!
Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep, Its own appointed…
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