Area woman ‘proud of connection’ with Reagan |

Area woman ‘proud of connection’ with Reagan

Ronald Reagan often gets higher marks as president than as an actor, but his movie “Hellcats of the Navy” holds a special place in the heart of Natalie Lockwood of Rough and Ready.

The movie is based on a book written by her grandfather, Adm. Charles Lockwood, who was also the technical adviser on the only movie that teamed Reagan with his wife, then known on the silver screen as Nancy Davis.

“We’re proud of the connection we have,” Natalie Lockwood said Thursday. “It’s really amazing he was able to work with an actor who later became president.”

Adm. Lockwood commanded U.S. submarine forces in the Pacific Ocean during World War II and was on the deck of the battleship Missouri to witness the formal Japanese surrender in 1945.

He recounted his experiences in the 1955 book, “Hellcats of the Sea,” co-authored by Air Force Col. Hans Christian Adamson, with a forward from Adm. Chester Nimitz.

When the movie rights to the book were purchased, Adm. Lockwood became the technical adviser for the film. He later worked as technical adviser on two other films, “Operation Pacific” and “On the Beach.”

Natalie Lockwood has acquired six of the books written by the admiral and also has one of original posters promoting “Hellcats of the Navy.”

“It’s important for me to keep this going for my son (Peter Ruiz),” she said.

Natalie’s father, Charles Lockwood III, and her two brothers also live in western Nevada County, and each takes pride in the Reagan connection, she said.

“As a good Republican,” she said, “I voted for him twice for president.”

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