Yeah, it really happened!
Back in 1963, a KC-130F conducted a series of test landings and takeoffs from the deck of the USS Forestal. The aircraft took of unassisted while weighing up to 121,000 lbs. While the C-130 proved to not be a good fit for a carrier (it rendered the carrier useless if it broke while on deck), the fact that the mighty Herk could even accomplish such a feat is a testament to the ruggedness of the C-130.
Hercs have flown into hurricanes and typhoons to gather storm data, controlled all manner of aerial drones, flown airborne early warning and control, electronic eavesdropping, and jamming missions, and inserted and supported personnel behind borders and enemy lines by flying we-were-never-there, nap-of-the-earth ingress and egress routes. C-130s do aerial firefighting, recover spy satellites and their “take”- there are even Hercules tankers that can be converted to gunships on the spot and back again after mission completion. C-130s have been flying for the United States Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard for 61 years and counting.