sent out and the Inspector of Naval Material at Bahrein had dispatched the SS FORT ERIE and directed the SS FORT STANWICK to the scene to assist in pumping off the CACAPON's cargo, thereby lightening her. A collision mat was lowered over the side and, after several attempts, was finally properly placed over the hole in the ship's bottom and the inflow of water considerably checked. The two merchant ships pumped off most of the cargo oil. The CACAPON’s emergency portable pumps soon began to make progress in pumping out the fireroom and engineroom spaces. The U.S.S. CHIKASKIA (AO-54), inbound to Bahrein took CACAPON in tow and towed her back to Bahrein where, through the facilities of the .American-Arabian Oil Company, temporary repairs, sufficient to permit the ship to return to the United States, were effected. The ship left Bahrein in ballast on 24 May and returned to the United States via Singapore, Subic Bay, Manila, Guam and Pearl Harbor, arriving at San Pedro, California on 17 July where preparations were made to dry dock the ship at Terminal Island Naval Shipyard.
It was during the period of the long shipyard overhaul that followed that the rumor was first bruited about that the CACAPON was scheduled to participate in "Operation Highjump" in the Antarctic. Although information available to personnel of the CACAPON was scanty at first, it was not too long until the "rumor" was confirmed and planning for the forthcoming operation commenced in earnest.
On 15 October 1946, LCDR Rhodes E. Day, USNR, Executive Officer, temporarily relieved CAPT John A. Edwards, USN, as Commanding Officer until the arrival of CAPT Mellish M. Lindsay, USN, who took command of the CACAPON on 25 October.
The ship left the shipyard on 2 November, but, after two shuttle runs to San Diego, returned to the shipyard for accomplishment of necessary alterations to enable her to conduct cold weather operations on her forthcoming trip to the Antarctic. Although he had commanded the ship barely a month, because of physical disability Captain Lindsay was relieved as Commanding Officer by Captain Ray A. Mitchell, USN, on 29 November 1946. That same day the ship left the shipyard and proceeded to Pier 86 San Pedro to commence loading for "Operation Highjump". She sailed from San Pedro on 2 December to join other vessels of Task Force 68,
CACAPON was assigned to the "western group", officially designated Task Group 68.2, under the command of Captain C. A. Bond, USN, in U.S.S, CURRITUCK (AV-7). The route to the Antarctic took the ships past Guadalope Island, through the Marquesas Islands, to the eastward of New Zealand, and thence down the 160th Meridian to the Antarctic Circle. CACAPON experienced one of the very few machinery casualties of her career on this voyage when a spring bearing on the starboard shaft overheated and was wiped. It was necessary for her to leave the formation and steam on the port engine along until repairs to the damaged bearing were completed, after which she proceeded at full speed until she overtook the Task Group.