She departed Balboa, Canal Zone, 8 January with DesDiv 38, escorting New Jersey and Iowa. Reaching Funafuti, Ellice Islands 27 January, Kalk searched for downed fighter planes before sailing for New Guinea 31 January to join the 7th Fleet at Milne Bay 7 February. She operated in the New Guinea area, primarily on patrol and convoy escort duty, until 12 June. During the protracted struggle for New Guinea, she also covered amphibious invasions, bombarding Manus, Pityilu, Los Negros, and Rambutye Islands, Admiralties: Tanahmerah Bay and Wakde-Sarmi, New Guinea; and Biak and Owi, Schouten Islands.

After providing fire support during the invasion of Biak Island 27 May, Kalk continued escort and picket duty between Biak and Humboldt Bay. While on patrol 12 June off the southern coast of Biak, an enemy plane dived out of the sun and released a bomb which struck abaft her forward stack at the base of her starboard torpedo tubes. As Kalk's 20 mm gunfire downed the attacker, the bomb exploded the air flasks of her torpedoes, destroying several 20 mm guns, showering her crew with shrapnel, and damaging her superstructure amidships. Though suffering 70 casualties, her crew rallied to save the destroyer. Firefighters extinguished each blaze; and, while other hands tended the wounded, volunteers detached the warheads from torpedoes scattered about the deck.

U.S.S. Crescent City

Invasions of Peleliu and Leyte
The U.S.S. Crescent City, the first attack transport, was held in reserve during the assaults on Kwajalein and Eniwetok, then landed her troops and embarked casualties at Guam from 21 to 25 July 1944. She returned to Guadalcanal 16 August for the staging of the Palau operation, taking part in the landings on Peleliu on 15 September. Ten days later she arrived at Humboldt Bay, New Guinea and sailed on 16 October for the invasion of Leyte. After landing troops of the 6th Army at San Pedro Bay on 22 October, she sailed before the outbreak of the Battle for Leyte Gulf. The transport brought reinforcements to Leyte from Hollandia, and arrived at Manus Island on 20 November to embark passengers for the United States.

Conversion to hospital ship
After overhaul, Crescent City departed San Francisco on 25 February 1945 and arrived at Pearl Harbor 4 March. Here she was converted to a temporary hospital evacuation ship, and two weeks later was underway for Kerama Retto, arriving 6 April. Receiving casualties from the beaches of Okinawa and from other ships, she transferred them to USS Hope (AH-7) for evacuation. Crescent City remained at Okinawa receiving casualties and transients until the end of the war.

After hostilities
Aiding in the redeployment of troops for the occupation of China, Crescent City lifted the 1st Marine Division to Taku between 30 September and 6 October 1945, and carried Chinese troops from Hong Kong to Chinwangtao and Tsingtao in November. Returning to Okinawa 1 December she embarked men eligible for discharge and sailed for Seattle, arriving 20 December.

Departing Seattle 23 January 1946 Crescent City arrived at Norfolk on 14 February. She operated from New York and Norfolk on training duty in the Caribbean until 10 October 1947 when she sailed for the west coast.