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VI - "The Year 1946"

Having greeted the new year of 1946 in the Harbor of Yokohama, the ship remained there until January 6th, on which date she embarked on a new assignment - a shuttle service between Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai and Tsingtao, China.  It was inevitable that the crew should dub her current service as the "chop-suey milk run". That assignment lasted until 15 March 1943.

An interesting incident, which was appropriately reported in a United Press news release, occurred on the 18th of March 1946. While CACAPON was anchored in Tokyo Bay, a nearly exhausted carrier pigeon fluttered wearily to the deck.  The tired bird made no attempt to evade the open but gentle hands of one of the men of the ship's com­pany who went to pick up the bird.  The man saw that a message tube was attached to the bird's leg. When the tube was opened, the following message was withdrawn:

"July 25, 1945e  SIIKO MARU COMPLETED MACHINE GUN PRACTICE. WILL RETURN HARBOR ELEVEN.  REQUEST BE MET OUTSIDE HARBOR".

The bird had done his best to live up to the carrier-pigeon code that the messages must get through. Even though he could not get it through to the Japanese Navy, the message was delivered to a "naval unit".

The ship was in Tokyo Bay when, on 26 March 1946, Captain John A. Edwards, USN relieved Commander George D. Arntz, USNR, as Commanding Officer.

On April 1st the CACAPON left Tokyo Bay and headed for Bahrein in the Persian Gulf for a load of oil. She stopped at Singapore on 12 April for recreation and sightseeing, resuming her journey on 14 April and, after passing through the Straits of Malacca and crossing the Indian Ocean, steamed into the Persian Gulf and arrived at Bahrein on 22 April I946.  The next day, after loading was completed, CACAPON got underway to deliver her cargo to the ships participating in "Operation Crossroads" at Kwajalein Atoll,, But she never delivered the cargo; for, while proceeding out of the Persian Gulf at 15 knots, at 0237 on 24 April 1946, she struck Shah Allum Shoal (Lat. 26° - 26' N. Long. 52° - 08' E).

The course had been laid to clear the shoal by about four miles, but, apparently due in part at least to strong and unpredictable currents, she was pulled clear of the reef. A course was ordered to the nearest land, (Arabia), in order that the ship could be beached if she began to flounder. However, even before the course to the nearest land could be taken, the auxiliary engineroom began to flood and a course back to Shah Allum was set. Before the shoal was reached, all power failed and the CACAPON dropped anchor in 30 fathoms of water. The engineroom and fireroom began to flood and all emergency pumping apparatus was brought into action.  Distress messages had already been

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