on 20 December, Christmas thus found the CACAPON at Pearl Harbor, not exactly at home in the United States, but also not in a foreign country. On 28 December, the ship set out for Midway Island and was anchored at destination prior to setting Watch One of 1955.
XV - "The Year 1955"
Little time and thought could be spared to welcoming 1955. The CACAPON started it off with a big splash by losing her starboard anchor under the stress of continuous buffeting of tearing winds and turbulent seas in her dangerous berth just 1,000 yards south of the coral reef surrounding Midway Island. But the ship weathered the remainder of the storm without further damage, and during the next several days accomplished her mission at Midway by transferring her liquid cargo to numerous yard oilers for further distribution. On 6 January, she departed for operations in WestPac.
The CACAPON reported to her operational command in Sasebo after servicing Task Group 70.4 on 25 January. Three days later while moored in Sasebo, word came that Captain J. B. Smith, who had left the ship the previous December because of ill health, had passed away at Tripler General Hospital in Hawaii. He was the second Commanding Officer to meet his end while serving on the CACAPON. The grievous news was passed on to the crew; it was a quiet and saddened ship that proceeded on to the Tachen Islands on 6 February to participate in their evacuation.
The ensuing eight days were to prove the toughest, at least in terms of operational schedule, that the ship had yet experienced, requiring the undivided attention of every man during every moment of duty. The weary crew manned the stations around the clock under the adverse conditions of inclement weather and discharged the assigned duties efficiently with a minimum amount of rest until coming in to Keelung on 14 February. It was during this operation that Captain (18 Knot) McCann, inspired by the admirable exertion and coordination of men and ship composed a ditty, which along with Captain Becker's CACAPON "Find 'em, Fuel 'em, Forget 'em" flag was soon to become synonymous with the reputation of efficiency that the CACAPON had earned throughout the Pacific. It goes as follows!
Here we are in form six two
Ready to shoot the juice to you
Roger is close-up on every ship
We're ready to go with hose and whip.
From Keelund, the CACAPON headed for Subic Bay, P.I., under the operational control of Commander Service Division 31. Upon arrival, the crew was granted ample liberty and an opportunity to catch their breath before getting underway once again.