year, through close teamwork and firm leadership, the outstanding oiler in the Pacific Fleet."
Little time was lost in taking constructive steps toward this goal. With the end of the initial leave and upkeep period on 12 September, CACAPON steamed down to San Diego and berthed alongside the tender JASON for an availability. It was a markedly changed ship that returned to Long Beach two weeks later; gone were the bulky tubs that had formerly housed the long-ago-removed 40mm and 5" guns on the fan-tail and forward deck house; gone was the high staging for the forward director which had now been shifted between the forward 3" guns. CACAPON remained in her home port only long enough to load fuel and enjoy a weekend; she then sailed to San Diego to provide services to the Fleet Training Group until 3 October, and returned to Long Beach to make final preparations for entering Bethlehem Pacific Shipyard in San Pedro on 13 October for her bi-annual overhaul.
Serious financial considerations imposed stringent limitations on the total amount of work that could be accomplished during this yard period. Some of the more notable jobs completed were the covering of the forward well deck with permanent rubber mastic, the conversion of the steward's compartment into a spacious and modern toilet, and the overhaul and improvement of much of the ship's general machinery. During the sea trials on 19 December, among several of the malfunctions discovered was that of the engines turning ahead full and the RPM indicators on the bridge showing them as backing slow. Most of these difficulties, however, were overcome by 29 December when the ship took on a partial load of fuel and went out to sea for various drills on the next two successive days with her new Executive Officer aboard, LCDR Eugene H. Chittenden, who had relieved LCDR W. C. Bliss on 9 December. After this hectic tempo of the concluding days of the old year, CACAPON spent New Year's Day quietly anchored in her home port of Long Beach.
IIX - "The Year 1959"
The first Monday of the New Year saw CACAPON heading for San Diego to provide Fleet Training Group with services during the balance of the week, and then commence her own underway training period with a week of the inport phase and the practice battle problem on the 19th. It was a hushed and dejected gathering that listened to the Fleet Training Group's caustic criticisms of this exercise. "Preparations were incomplete", they charged over and over again. "Briefings were inadequate."
A distinct challenge had thus been issued to the ship. During the next ten days, CACAPON engaged in an arduous training program. It was drill, drill, drill, and exercise, exercise and exercise over and over and over again. Every evolution was performed under the exacting scrutiny of Fleet Training Group representatives ready with their suggestions and corrections. It was but a short while before all hands were conforming to the pattern desired by the underway
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