The opinion of the court was delivered by: ELFVIN
FINDINGS OF FACT and CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
This interpleader action was instituted by the Prudential Insurance Company of America ("Prudential") under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1335 and 1397 asking this Court to settle the claims by defendants Ellwein and Reed to one-half of the proceeds from a life insurance policy issued by Prudential on the life of a serviceman, Robert Kevin Reed, which policy was issued pursuant to Subchapter III of Chapter 19 of Title 38 of the United States Code (38 U.S.C. §§ 765-779), entitled Serviceman's Group Life Insurance. By order of this Court filed November 17, 1975, Prudential was discharged from further liability upon the deposit of $10,283.60 in the registry of this Court, which sum represented the one-half of the insurance proceeds which is in dispute. The remaining one-half of such proceeds was indisputably payable to defendant Ellwein. This action proceeded to trial before me without a jury to settle the claims of defendants to the deposited proceeds. Defendants are the natural parents of the deceased serviceman.
From the testimony of witnesses and the documents admitted into evidence from that trial I make the following findings of fact.
Specialist Fourth Class Robert Kevin Reed was on active duty with the United States Army at the time of his death on June 12, 1974. He was unmarried and without children. Upon entering the Army in October of 1971, he executed a form No. VA 29-8286 entitled "Servicemen's Group Life Insurance Election" whereon he designated his mother ("Winonia [sic] Ellwein") as the sole beneficiary of his Servicemen's Group Life Insurance policy. On May 9, 1973 he executed another form No. VA 29-8286.
On such form he did not designate Winona Ellwein as the only beneficiary but instead filled in the space for naming a beneficiary with the phrase, "By law".On the front of such form, the following instruction appears:
"IMPORTANT - You must write in the spaces below (1) 'By Law' in your own handwriting if you wish the law to apply (as explained on reverse) or, (2) The names and other information for persons you want to receive your insurance."
On the reverse side of form No. VA 29-8286 the following appears:
"PROVISIONS OF THE LAW FOR PAYMENT OF INSURANCE
"If you do not name a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of your insurance, it will be paid under the provisions of the law, to your (survivors) in the following order:
1. Widow or widower; if none, it is payable to
2. Child or children in equal shares with share of any deceased child distributed among the descendants of that child; if none, it is payable to
3. (Parents) in equal shares; if none, it is payable to
4. A duly appointed executor or administrator of the insured's ...