The opinion of the court was delivered by: BEEKS
This matter having come on for trial before the above-entitled Court, the Honorable William T. Beeks, presiding, on December 8, 1965; and the Libelants having appeared by and through Charles J. Law of Greive and Law, their proctors; and the respondent, United States of America, having appeared through William N. Goodwin, United States Attorney, John F. Meadows, Attorney in Charge, West Coast Office, Admiralty & Shipping Section, by Henry Haugen, Special Attorney, Admiralty & Shipping Section, Department of Justice, San Francisco, California and Michael Hoff, Assistant United States Attorney, Seattle, Washington; and Respondent-Impleaded, Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, having appeared by and through Harry Margolis of Walsh and Margolis, its proctors; and the Court sitting in admiralty having heard the testimony of witnesses appearing in behalf of the Libelant and having considered the pleadings on file herein, and being fully advised in the premises, now makes the following
1. Puget Sound Bridge and Dry Dock Company, now Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, hereinafter referred to as Lockheed, is and was at all times material hereto a shipbuilding and repair facility located in Seattle, Washington.
3. A major modernization, renovation and conversion of the WACCAMAW was performed by Lockheed during the period March 2, 1964, to September 25, 1964.
4. The work was performed pursuant to contracts entered into between Lockheed, as an independent contractor, and the United States Navy on March 8, 1963, consisting of:
a) NObs-4619 - a master contract covering the work performed on the WACCAMAW and a sister ship, the USS NAVASOTA (AO-106)
b) General Provisions, Department of the Navy, Bureau of Ships.
c) Specifications for Conversion AO22 Class Oiler to AO (JUMBO).
5. At all times material, Lockheed acted as an independent contractor and not as an agent of the United States.
6. The general nature of the conversion work was to increase the carrying capacity of the WACCAMAW by cutting the hull in two, removing a mid-body section and inserting a new mid-body section which had been separately fabricated. Lockheed performed all such work under the terms of the aforementioned contract at a cost to the United States, for this and a sister vessel, of $14,949,563.00. This contract price is the amount agreed to by the parties at the date of entering into the contract, NObs-4619, on March 8, 1963, and does ...