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Rendova (CVE-114)


An island in the central Solomons, off the southwest central coast of New Georgia. During World War II it was taken by U.S. forces 30 June-2 July 1943 and used as a base against Munda.

(CVE-114: displacement 24,100 (full load); length 557'1"; beam 75'0"; extreme width (flight deck) 105'2"; draft 32'0"; speed 19.0 knots; complement 1,066; aircraft 18 F6F, 12 TBM; armament 2 5-inch, 36 40 millimeter, 20 20 milimeter; class Commencement Bay)

Mosser Bay (CVE-114) was renamed Rendova on 6 November 1943. Rendova was laid down at Tacoma, Wash., by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., on 15 June 1944; launched on 29 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Anna-Marie H. Kurtz; and commissioned on 22 October 1945, Capt. Richard W. Ruble in command.

Commissioned too late for service in World War II, Rendova completed shakedown in early January 1946, and reported for duty with the First 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  (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 North American AT-6 Texan training planes for that country's air force. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she arrived at Yesilkoy on 28 April, off loaded her cargo, and continued her voyage on 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 on 1 July, only to depart again on another mission, this time to Tsingtao, China, on the 28th. At Tsingtao 23-27 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 First Fleet training operations. In October, she arrived at Bremerton, Wash., where, after overhaul, she was decommissioned on 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 on 3 January 1951, she reported for duty in April and on 3 July steamed west. She arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, on 2 August; underwent further training off Okinawa; then on 20 September, arrived at Kobe to relieve Sicily (CVE-l18) as aircraft carrier unit under Commander Task Group (CTG) 95.1.

On the 22nd, she completed embarking men, planes (Vought F4U Corsairs), and equipment of Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 212. On the 23rd, she conducted carrier qualifications for the squadron. On the 24th, she loaded ammunition and supplies at Sasebo, Japan,  and on the 25th, she got underway for operating area Nan in the Yellow Sea. There she relieved the British aircraft carrier HMS Glory (R. 62) 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 tyhe Australian carrier HMAS Sydney (R. 17) 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  search and rescue [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 on 6 December 1951. By the 22nd, she was back at San Diego and with the New Year 1952, she resumed west coast training operations with the First Fleet. In September, she sailed west again and for two months participated in Operation Ivy (an atomic test series in the Marshall Islands), 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 Western Pacific 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, on 2 February 1955 and was decommissioned on 30 June. Reclassified as a cargo ship and aircraft ferry, AKV-14, in 1959, she remained in the Reserve Fleet until stricken from the Navy List on 1 April 1971. She was disposed-of, by Navy Sale, on 12 December 1972.

Rendova earned two battle stars for her Korean war service.

Interim Update, Robert J. Cressman

31 October 2023

Published: Tue Oct 31 10:56:57 EDT 2023