The USS Rendova was a Commencement Bay class escort aircraft carrier built in Tacoma, Washington. She was launched two months after the end of World War II in October of 1945. She would have her shakedown operations in the spring of 1946 and would remain inactive for the most part of the year after that. However, she would end up serving as a training role for other sailors coming up.
In April to July of 1948 she would serve as a transport ship for aircraft, moving them from the U.S. West Coast to the Atlantic Ocean and even to the country of Turkey. She would then take the long route back to the U.S. by going through the Suez Canal, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf before reaching the Pacific Ocean. For the remainder of 1948 and 1949 she would host regular training exercises and make two voyages into the Far East before she was decommissioned in January of 1950 and put into the Reserve Fleet.
Action in Korea
With the Korean conflict coming into the forefront, the Rendova was recommissioned in January of 1951. She was quickly sent out to the Korean waters and would remain there from July until December of 1951. She would mainly operate in the Yellow Sea playing host to a Marine Corps fighter squadron that was flying close air support and other missions that would involve combat. After completing that mission she was sent to the training missions again and participated in the anti-submarine warfare. She even helped participate in the nuclear weapons testing that would take place in the Marshall Islands in 1952. She made a final cruise into the Western Pacific in 1954.
After the War
She was eventually decommissioned again in June of 1955. She was changed into an aircraft transport ship in May of 1959 and obtained a new hull number to show that new designation. However, she would not return to the active duty again and was removed from the Naval Vessel Register in April of 1971. It would take until November of 1972 before she would be sold for scrapping.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.