of the war. Excitement ran high through the whole ship's company as the ship steamed out of Pearl Harbor in the afternoon of 26 November 1943 in company with U.S.S. KASKASKIA (AO-27) and escorts. It was not until well at sea that the crew was called to quarters and informed by the Captain that the ships were enroute to rendezvous with the FIFTH Fleet which was currently at sea preparing for a strike at the Gilbert Islands. The first active participation of the CACAPON in World War II, therefore, began at dawn on 30 November, 1943 when she provided logistic services to units of the FIFTH Fleet with which she rendezvoused in Lat. 13° - 00' N, Long. 179° - 00'W. On completion of this assignment, the CACAPON returned independently to Pearl Harbor, arriving there on 6 December, 1943, and thence proceeded to San Pedro, California for a week availability at the Terminal Island Naval Shipyard.
IV - "The Year 1944"
With a full load of cargo, the CACAPON left San Pedro in mid-January 1944 and returned to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 27 January, 1944. In company with U.S.S. GUADALUPE (AO-32), U.S.S. TAPPAHANNOCK (AO-43), U.S.S. ESCAMBIA (AO-80), and escorts, the CACAPON departed from Pearl Harbor on 3 February to furnish logistic support to Task Force 50, which was then engaged in the capture of the Marshall Islands. When the ship was empty, she returned to Pearl Harbor to reload and then proceed to Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, arriving on 27 February, to furnish fuel to other FIFTH Fleet Units.
After but a brief stay in Majuro, the CACAPON, together with three other fleet oilers and escorts, left the Marshall Islands and proceeded to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands where, upon arrival, she reported to Admiral Halsey, Commander Third Fleet, for duty.
During the period 15 March to 8 May, 1944, U.S.S. CACAPON was employed in providing logistic support to units of the THIRD Fleet engaged in bombardment and anti-shipping strikes against Rabaul and Kavieng, and to units of the THIRD Fleet engaged in the seizure and occupation of Green, Emirau and Admiralty Islands, In the latter part of this period the CACAPON was among the mobile logistic units loaned to the SEVENTH Fleet as part of a service support group in conjunction with the New Guinea campaign.
From May until the end of the year 1944, the CACAPON served as station tanker successively at Efate and Espiritu Santo in the New Herbrides, at Port Purvis in the Solomon Islands, and at Manus that the CACAPON had the first "close call" of her career. The harbor, which was one of the important bases for our surface striking forces, was full of shipping on this sunny Friday afternoon. Routine work was in progress. Some of the crew had left the ship to go over to the beach with the daily recreation party. Suddenly, in the middle of the harbor, there was a blinding flash followed by a huge pillar of smoke billowing skyward.
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