She was launched 12 Octobersponsored by Mrs. The ship remained in the San Francisco Bay area until 8 Decemberat which time she left the area, proceeding to San Pedro and later San Diego where she completed a shakedown period and engaged in amphibious training.
While underway, the escort in attempting to regain proper station, rammed New Kent amidships sustaining severe damage to herself but was able to proceed under her own power to Pearl Harbor. New Kent proceeded to Majuro arriving on 6 February, and left 7 February, arriving at Kwajalein the following day. From this time until 15 March, the ship was engaged in combat loading troops and equipment of the 3rd Battalion1st Regiment1st Marine Division and in rehearsal exercises in the Guadalcanal- Russell Islands area preparing for the invasion of Okinawa.
Landing her troops that afternoon, New Kent sent a beach party ashore the next day and then remained in the transport area, subject to frequent enemy air attack, until departing in convoy for Pearl Harbor on 7 April.
After stopping en route at Guamthe convoy reached Pearl Harbor on 23 April. She then loaded and sailed for San Francisco arriving there on 4 June and then sailed up the coast arriving at Seattle 6 June. Repairs were to be made to the ship, lucyy, because of a strike in the yards, little work was accomplished.
New Kent remained in the Philippines for a little more than a month transporting Army troops to various positions on Luzon. Unloading her occupation troops the next day New Kent then sailed for Subic Bay the same afternoon, arriving 1 October, and then proceeding the same day for Leyte, arriving 3 October. The convoy arrived off Hiro-wan, Japan on 21 October, and the troops and cargo were discharged during the next two days.
During the week spent in Japan, sightseeing parties from the ship visited the nearby large Japanese naval base at Kure as well as the site where the first atomic bomb was dropped at Hiroshima. There she embarked passengers for her first Magic Carpet voyage, to bring the troops home to San Pedro, California, 19 November.
Baker, USNRas commanding officer. The ship's destination was again changed, this time to SaipanMarianas Islands, at which port the ship docked 21 December.
After loading 1, passengers, the ship sailed for San Pedro, California, destination changed en route to San Francisco,  where the ship arrived on 1 January For the next year she conducted amphibious training exercises along the East and Gulf coasts and in the Caribbean. On 10 October she was re-commissioned and reased to amphibious training duty, resuming exercises along the shores of the Atlantic. On 24 July she was officially withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet.