After training in the Caribbean and along the east coast and experimental torpedo firing at Newport Craven departed Norfolk 16 August 1938 to join the fleet at San Diego. From 4 January to 17 July 1939 she cruised to the Caribbean on maneuvers and fleet problems, and to the east coast for visits, but otherwise operated off the west coast. From 1 April 1940 she was based at Pearl Harbor where she joined in fleet exercises and served as antisubmarine screen for carriers.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Craven was at sea with Enterprise (CV-6) proceeding from Wake Island to Pearl Harbor. Craven joined in the raids on the Marshalls and Gilberts, 1 February 1942 and on Wake Island, 24 February. After overhaul on the west coast, on 8 April she returned to convoy duty and west coast operations. (continued)