she was moved into the stream next to the HOOPER ISLAND for additiona1 availability. It was here that a long range habitability plan was drawn up which, by the time of its completion at the conclusion of "Operation Hardtack", left the ship in a greatly improved condition. The improvements included the redecoration of the Wardroom, Captain’s Cabin and Chief’s Quarters, as well as the tiling of all living compartments and passageways. Also, a new movie screen was set up on the Wardroom Deck with sufficient benches, and for post-movie comfort, all hands received new bunk frames and bottoms.
On 30 January, the CACAPON left for Long Beach. Almost immediately after her arrival, however, she moved to Craig Shipyard to have a newly discovered crack in the steering engine fixed up. On 10 February, the ship left Craig Shipyard, only to learn four days later that contamination of the boilers with oil from ruptured tubes in the fuel oil heater necessitated another yard period. Thus, the CACAPON found herself again at Todd's Shipyard, where officials made assurances that the ship would be ready for loading by the 22nd and for deployment two days after that. And right they were. The ship loaded and departed for Bikini, Marshall Islands as scheduled on Monday, 24 February,
The nature of "Operation Hardtack" prevents any discussion of what happened during the six month period, lest such a discussion be prejudicial to the best interests of national security. Suffice it to say that as usual, the CACAPON carried out her mission efficiently and completely. Many aspects of the operation were interesting and certainly unusual. The men who participated are not likely to forget the details that comprised their daily lives on these barren atolls so far away from home and from anywhere else.
In terms of recreation, however, this period was rather productive. All hands acquired a healthy tan, and took advantage of the opportunity to take refreshing dips in the Pacific and participate in all forms of athletics on these tiny atolls which proved sufficiently large for this purpose. Much money was saved and all hands enjoyed liberty on trips to Guam and Pearl Harbor.
By the time the ship arrived at the Long Beach Breakwater in August, freshly painted and in a better material condition than she had been for years, none could say that the previous six months had been a total loss - all were a little richer, and somewhat wiser for the experience of "Operation Hardtack".
Among those meeting the ship upon her arrival in Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 13 August was Captain W. C. Meyer, who, two days later, in an impressive ceremony, marred only by sporadic and unseasonable showers, relieved Captain Miller as Commanding Officer. It was at this ceremony that the guiding policies for the forthcoming year were spelled out. "During the past several years, CACAPON has established the enviable record of being a capable and reliable ship", stated the new Commanding Officer. "We cannot rest content with those laurels. I propose to make this ship, within the next
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