Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hellcats of the Navy | Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Davis revered by the Navy | State Funeral


Hellcats of the Navy (1957) is a movie starring Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Davis (her then professional name) — a moral World War II submarine tale — the only film in which they appear together.

Reagan plays Captain Casey Abbott, commander of the fictional submarine USS Starfish, who is ordered to undertake a dangerous mission which sees him attempting to cut off the flow of supplies between China and Japan in the heavily-mined waters off the Asiatic mainland.

As a result of this film and Mr. Reagan's service as Commander in Chief, the Reagans are particularly revered by the Navy, which was especially evident during Mr. Reagan's funeral services.

Ronald Reagan's casket, on a horse-drawn caisson, being pulled down Constitution Avenue to the Capitol Building


Reagan's casket, a Marsellus Masterpiece model, was carried by a military honor guard representing all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

Events in the capital began when Reagan's casket arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. It was removed from the plane, driven by hearse in a procession through the Maryland and Virginia suburbs and the nation's capital, across the Memorial Bridge, and onto Constitution Avenue.

Near the Ellipse, and within sight of the White House, the hearse halted and Reagan's body was transferred to a horse-drawn caisson for the procession down Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill. Nancy Reagan stepped out of her limousine to witness the body's transfer; she was met with a warm greeting, including applause. Military units escorted the caisson as it made its way to the sounds of muffled drums. Behind the caisson was a riderless horse named Sergeant York, carrying Reagan's riding boots reversed in the stirrups. The caisson paused at 4th street and Constitution Avenue, where 21 Air Force F-15s flew over in missing man formation.

The caisson stopped when it arrived at Capitol Hill; military units removed it, and Hail to the Chief was played amidst a 21-gun salute. Two teams of military body bearers carried the coffin up the steps of the Capitol to Battle Hymn of the Republic.

When the casket reached the top of the steps, Nancy Reagan and her military escort met it. As the casket passed them, Mrs. Reagan momentarily pulled away from her escort, reached out, and touched the casket. The casket was placed under the rotunda, where it lay in state on Abraham Lincoln's catafalque. An evening memorial service then took place, with dignitaries

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