The Capella was one of 27 ships requesitioned in 1921 to replace older ships for service with the US Navy. She arrived in San Diego in 1922 and was used along the West Coast until 1924 when she delivered earthquake relief supplies to Yokosuka, Japan. Laid up from 1924-38 but re-activated and resumed work. In 1940 towed the New Orleans floating drydock to Pearl Harbor. Then worked mostly on the East Coast until 1945.