The U.S. Navy has put the finishing touches on a penny contract that sends its first "supercarrier," the USS Forrestal, on its way to a scrap company in Brownsville, Texas.
A U.S. Navy spokesman said the Navy paid the company a penny to take on the dismantling project. All Star Medals was selected among a handful of other contractors, after passing security clearances, the Navy reported in a release.
Other media widely reported that All Star Medals actually purchased the vessel for a penny — but a Navy spokesman said to The Washington Times that the deal was actually the other way around.
Chris Johnson, a spokesman with Naval Sea Systems Command, said in an email: "This was not a sales contract, it was a procurement contract. The Navy paid [a penny] to remove and dismantle Forrestal, not the other way around. [One cent] is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for towing and dismantling of ex-Forrestal. The Navy continues to own the ship during the dismantling process until the ship has been fully dismantled. The contractor takes ownership of the scrap metal as it is produced and sells the scrap to offset its costs of operations."
The Forrestal, which is docked in Philadelphia, launched in December 1954 in Newport News, Va. Its name honors James V. Forrestal, the last secretary of the Navy to serve in the Cabinet and the first secretary of defense.
He killed himself in 1949.
The Navy offered to donate the Forrestal to a museum after it was decommissioned in 1993. But nobody the Navy thought suitable stepped forward to take the offer, UPI said.
© Copyright 2015 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.