Commissioned too late
for service in World War II, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.