‘The hand of God’

Local residents recall day Liberty avoided military aircraft disaster

By Ron Barnett
Staff Reporter

It was a typical Saturday morning in downtown Liberty, and 12-year-old Jerry Nalley was at home watching TV with his younger sister.
“Probably some Western,” he recollected.

All at once they heard a great “commotion” — and it wasn’t coming from the cowboys and Indians on their black-and-white television set.
“It was just a tremendous noise,” he said. “We didn’t know what in the world it was.”

This Saturday morning — Feb. 27, 1960 — turned out to be anything but typical.

Jerry ran out the back door just in time to see one of the vertical stabilizers of a C-119 airplane — a

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