USS Rendova (CVE-114)

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USS Rendova off San Diego, California, circa 1952-1954
Career
Name: USS Rendova
Builder: Todd-Pacific Shipyards
Laid down: 15 June 1944
Launched: 29 December 1944
Commissioned: 22 October 1945
Decommissioned: 27 January 1950
Recommissioned: 3 January 1951
Decommissioned: 30 June 1955
Reclassified: Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry, AKV-14, 1959
Struck: 1 April 1971
Homeport: San Diego
General characteristics
Class & type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier
Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t)
24,100 long tons (24,500 t) full load[1]
Length: 557 ft (170 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Allis-Chambers, geared turbines, 16,000 shp
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)
Complement: 1,066 officers and men
Armament: • 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1)
• 36 × 40 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 34
Service record
Part of: US Pacific Fleet (1945-50, 1951-55)
Pacific Reserve Fleet (1950-51, 1955-71)
Operations: Korean War (1951)
Operation Ivy (1952)
Awards: 2 Battle stars (Korea)

USS Rendova (CVE-114) was a Commencement Bay class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

She was originally assigned the name Mosser Bay and completed as the Willamette,[1] she was laid down by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Washington, 15 June 1944; launched 29 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Anna-Marie H. Kurtz; and commissioned 22 October 1945, Capt. R. W. Ruble in command.

Operational history[edit]

Rendova completed shakedown in early January 1946, and reported for duty with the 1st Fleet in February. During March, she conducted exercises off the west coast, but in April, her complement was reduced to a maintenance crew. Immobilized at San Diego for a year, she remained on the active list as the administrative headquarters for Carrier Division 15 (CarDiv 15). In the spring of 1947, she returned to full active duty and for the next year conducted training exercises off the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands.

On 1 April 1948, she departed San Francisco en route to Turkey with a cargo of AT-6 training planes for that country's air force. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she arrived at Yesilkoy 28 April, off loaded her cargo, and continued her voyage 4 May. She moved south to Suez, thence crossed the Indian and Pacific Oceans. With numerous good will visits en route, she returned to San Diego 1 July, only to depart again on another mission, this time to Tsingtao, on the 28th. At Tsingtao 23 August–27 August, she was back in San Diego, her homeport, in late September and through the fall trained on the west coast. With the new year, 1949, she again sailed west; operated between Tsingtao and Okinawa until mid-April; then returned to her homeport and resumed 1st Fleet training operations. In October, she arrived at Bremerton, where, after overhaul, she was decommissioned, 27 January 1950, and berthed with the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Korean war[edit]

Six months later the North Korean Army crossed the 38th Parallel and Rendova was ordered activated. Recommissioned 3 January 1951, she reported for duty in April and on 3 July steamed west. She arrived at Yokosuka 2 August; underwent further training off Okinawa; then on 20 September, arrived at Kobe to relieve USS Sicily (CVE-118) as aircraft carrier unit under CTG 95.1.

Corsairs of VMF-212 on USS Rendova off Korea, 1951

On the 22nd, she completed embarking personnel, planes (F4Us), and equipment of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) 212. On the 23rd, she conducted carrier qualifications for the squadron. On the 24th, she loaded ammunition and supplies at Sasebo and on the 25th, she got underway for operating area "Nan" in the Yellow Sea. There she relieved HMS Glory (R62) assuming CTE 95.11, and on the 26th, launched her first close air support sortie. During the next months, she cruised off the west coast of Korea, alternating with HMAS Sydney (R17) as CTE 95.11. VMF-212 recorded 1,743 sorties in support of ROK, U.S. Marine, and EUSAK ground forces; enforcing the U.N. blockade; rendering SAR assistance; and flying armed and photo reconnaissance missions. On 17 November, the ship and the squadron established a new sortie record for CVEs - 64.

Rendova completed her last support operation 6 December. By the 22nd, she was back at San Diego and with the new year, 1952, she resumed west coast training operations with the 1st Fleet. In September, she sailed west again and for two months participated in Operation "Ivy" - an atomic test series in the Marshalls, then she returned to California.

A HO4S anti-submarine helicopter on USS Rendova, 1954.

In commission, in reserve in 1953, she continued her training activities off the west coast, and in 1954 returned to the active fleet and another WestPac deployment, this time as a hunter-killer carrier. Back in California by mid-June, she conducted exercises out of Long Beach until October, then shifted to Mare Island for preinactivation overhaul. She reported to the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Francisco Group, 2 February 1955 and was decommissioned 30 June. Reclassified AKV-14 in 1959, she remained in the Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy list 1 April 1971.

Rendova earned two battle stars for Korean war service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Silverstone, Paul H. (1965). US Warships of World War 2. USA: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-773-9. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.