During the trip to the Antarctic, CACAPON fueled the U.S.S. CHURRITUCK (AV-7), U.S.S. HENDERSON (DD-785). When not in formation for fueling, the ships were spread out 50 miles apart in order that a wider coverage of soundings could be obtained in the areas through which the Task Group was purposely routed, for very little was known about the depth and character of the ocean floor in those areas. Although the ship was many miles from home on Christmas Eve, good spirit pervaded throughout the ship and in the mess hall where the men assembled near the Christmas Tree, all decorated ia the traditional manner, and sang Christmas carols and other songs and opened the numerous packages of Christmas gifts that had been provided by the American Red Cross. It was on Christmas day that the crew of the CACAPON had their first view of an iceberg. It was but the first of what seemed an endless parade of icebergs for the next 10 weeks.
VII - "The Year 1947"
Toward the end of January 1947, CACAPON was temporarily detached from Task Group 68.2 to rendezvous north of the Ross Sea Ice Barrier with U.S.S. PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47), in company with the icebreaker NORTHWIND, a destroyer and a submarine. The PHILIPPINE SEA, in which Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd was embarked, had brought down six twin-engined Douglas transport planes which, with the Admiral in one of them, were to be launched from the carrier and flown in to Little America. CACAPON fueled the small vessels in company with the PHILIPPINE SEA but was not required to fuel the carrier. Two of the planes were launched on 30 January, and the remaining four on the following day. All six made uneventful flights and successful landings at the base at Little America, After taking on board the mail that the PHILIPPINE SEA had brought, CACAPON returned to join Task Group 68.2.
During the ten weeks of their operations in Antarctic waters the ships of the Task Group steamed about 20,000 miles, down the 180th Meridian, around the southern side of the world to Longitude 30° E. Units of the Task Group made valuable weather observations, sounded the depths of the ocean, took samples of the ocean bottom and samples of the water, made flights over the Antarctic Continent and photographed and mapped territory never before seen by the human eye.
For the western group, "Operation Highjump" ended on 1 March 1947, and course was set for Sydney, Australia. During the trip north, the group encountered a violent storm during which U.S.S. CURRITUCK lost one PBM flying boat and sustained damage to two others. CACAPON lost one life raft, and all ships of the group suffered minor damage from the heavy seas. But, thankful that the toll of the storm was no greater, the group steamed into Sydney Harbor on March 14 and exchanged salutes with the shore saluting station and with the cruiser HMAS HOBART. There began a never-to-be-forgotten six days of liberty and recreation. Not enough could be said in praise and appreciation for the way the Australian people welcomed the personnel of the Task Group
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