The purpose of this blog is to honor the service of my Dad, Philip Fred Hughes, during World War II. Additionally, it is to share information that I’ve gathered about his ship, USS Tryon, that he served on during World War II. Dad joined the crew of Tryon six months after she was commissioned, so he wasn’t with her from the start, but Tryon was the only ship he served on during the war. Dad stayed aboard till war’s end, and he also participated in the “Magic Carpet” operations after the Japanese surrender, which, in Tryon’s case, carried freed POWs from Japan back to the U.S. in the fall of 1945. He was discharged on December 24, 1945.

Dad was born in Illinois, but grew up in Santa Ana, CA. He graduated from high school in 1940, and when the war began was working at an aircraft factory in Long Beach. He inlisted in the Navy at Santa Ana, with his dad signing to give approval for the twenty-year-old to enlist. Dad was first sent to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center for basic training, then received additional training in San Diego before shipping out from San Francisco aboard the SS President Monroe, bound for Noumea, New Caledonia. He then serve for two and a half years in the south Pacific.

Like the majority of men returning from the war, my dad talked about his wartime experiences relatively little – although, in retrospect, I wonder if that was because he just wasn’t asked. I had little interest in his experiences in my younger years; the fact that he had participated in the war portrayed in movies starring John Wayne and other well-known stars was a curiosity to me, but little more. Actually, according to my mom, Dad spoke of his war experiences in mostly positive terms. With occasional exceptions, Dad’s ship avoided the “red zones,” where battles – either on land or at sea – were being fought nearby. That’s not to say that Tryon was never in harms way – Mom tells a story of going to a Fourth of July fireworks display shortly after the war, and Dad experiencing near panic at the sound of the exploding fireworks shells. But I think he would have had fewer tales of horror to tell from his war experiences that men who had served on the front lines or on fighting ships did.

The story of Tryon is not that of a single ship, but one that includes many people, places, ships and events. It is my desire to give perspective to the voyages of Tryon by describing the the hostile, embattled environment, the churning caldron of war, that she was a part of. I am very grateful that I obtained a copy of “The South Pacific Express” by Mac Perry, which gives me a wonderful framework to work from. I also am assisted to a great degree by logs kept by Ekdal Buys, which, along with “South Pacific Express,” was provided to me by his sons, Chris and Ek.

If you or your family member served aboard Tryon, or if for another reason you’re interested in Tryon, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment so that we can communicate further.

If you have a comment, correction, annecdote or story related to any posts, please be sure to leave a comment. I enjoy nothing more than hearing from others that share an interest in this most pivital time in world history.

And thanks for taking time to check out my blog. I sincerely appreciate it.

Tim Hughes


20 Responses to “About”

  1. Claus Hellmann Hansen March 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I noticed, that you mention Perida in this blog, and that you are uncertain about where Perida was when, when it was rebuilt, changed name etc. If you are interested I may have information for you.
    My father, who died in 1993, was mate on Marchen Mærsk, and later when it was named Kaldara and then again Perida. I’m currently going through his notes, articles and interviews, and will be able to organize his data. So I believe that I have data about Perida’s voyages until after it returned to Seattle after the invasion of Attu.
    If you are interested please let me know your e-mail address. Mine is hellmannhansen@gmail.com.

    Claus Hellmann Hansen

  2. Elizabeth Johnson February 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    My grandfather served as a signalman on the USS Tryon from 1944-1945. I am putting together his personal history and am very thankful I came across your blog. He is still living and I have interviewed him a great deal about the war, but he feels uncomfortable sharing some details. Also, he did not keep a journal, and although he remembers many places and experiences, does not know all the places he went or any names of important engagements.

    I do have a very interesting story about a poker game that he joined (he was not a gambler but took someone else’s place momentarily and was dealt a royal flush). He also remembers making a Christmas tree with other guys on board out of miscellaneous items off the coast of Indonesia.

    I would be very much interested in finding a copy of Mac Perry’s book; it is not available online. Perhaps I could contact the publisher if I could get more details.

    Please contact me at elizabeth@diligent5.org. My name is Liz.

  3. Joan October 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Hello, my father-in, law, Edwin Adams was aboard the uss tryon. We are desperately trying to find this book for him. I do believe he is the last remaining known survivor of this ship. I will share this site in to my husband to read and pass on to his Dad. If you know if any copies of this book, please let me know. Thank you,

    • rememberthetitans October 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      Hi Joan. I’m thrilled to find out about a living crew member of Tryon! Please give Edwin my warmest greetings and best wishes! Unfortunately, The South Pacific Express is a hard book to find. I looked for several years before I was finally able to find one. My guess is that there were very few printed, and even fewer that made it into circulation. Watch for a copy on Ebay – that’s where I found mine. That’s the best advice I can give you on that. I checked the Tryon Muster Rolls and found something interesting – Edwin and my dad joined Tryon at about the same time. Edwin reported for duty on 30 April 1943, and my dad on 5 May 1943. Edwin had a rating of Hospital Assistant Second Class, while my dad was Seaman First Class. If you don’t have access to WW II Ship Muster Rolls (Ancestry.com or Fold3.com) let me know and I’ll copy them and email them to you. I always find them interesting. I’m more than happy to do all I can for my favorite living Tryon crew member!

      I’d also like to ask you for a favor – I’d love to have some first-hand stories from Edwin about his time aboard Tryon. Any he’d care to share would be welcome. I know he was a Hospital Assistant, and later a Pharmacist’s Mate, and I bet he was worked to death at the Battle of Peleliu. Tryon took on over 900 wounded there. He no doubt has other experiences that would be interesting. I’d love to hear any he’s willing to share. Also, I’ve wanted to have a “Wall of Fame,” photos of Tryon crewmembers, ever since I started the blog. I’d love to have a photo of Edwin to put up. He’d be a charter member!!! If you get a chance, have him take a look at the photos I’ve put up and see if he recognizes anyone. I’m particularly interested to know if the photos I have of Captain Byrholdt look right. Anyway, it’s great to hear from you and I look forward to hearing from you again.

  4. Frank Zwolinski January 19, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

    Mr. Hughes,
    Thank you for this posting! I am writing a history on my father’s 30 year Navy career and would like to use a few ship photos from your blog (USS Tryon, SS Mormacport, MS Brastagi, and the SS Delbrasil). My book is to be privately published for my family and a few genealogical libraries; it will not be sold. If I may have your permission, how would you like me to credit you?

    Thanks you in advance for your help to my family,

    • rememberthetitans January 20, 2016 at 8:42 am #

      Hi Frank! Thanks for your interest in my blog! I’ve had a ton of fun researching Tryon, although I admit that I haven’t kept up with the blog as much as I would have liked. You are welcome to use any photos you find on the blog – except for a couple of personal photos, I believe they are all either in public domain or are available for use for non-commercial purposes. Obviously, you don’t need to credit me with any of those. If you use any of the text at length I’d just like a mention that you found it on my blog. I’m certainly not too hung up on that.

      Please tell me about your dad’s service on Tryon – first of all, what was his name? Was he an officer or enlisted? What was his rank or rating? What period was he aboard? I have quite a bit of stuff on Tryon, and I might be able to provide you with some that will help you with your book.

      • Frank Zwolinski January 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

        Good morning Tim,
        Thank you for this blog. I must admit I don’t really understand how “blogs” work so I am grateful for your response to my question.

        I did not want to mislead you, as my Dad, Frank John Zwolinski, Sr, did not serve on the Tryon. He served on the USS Raleigh (CL-7) and was at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec, surviving, of course. Wlile on the Raleigh he was an enlisted seaman/signalman, becoming first class before leaving the ship. In his thirty years of service he eventually retired as a commander in 1968, going on to work as the Emergency Services Coordinator in Alameda Co., CA. After Pearl Harbor his ship served as a US Navy escort ship for many convoys and the Tryon was one of them, as were others mentioned in your blog. That is how I originally found you and your blog.

        The pictures I want to use are all ships in that convoy, however the first two quoted paragraphs listed at the start of your page which describe the convoy would be helpful if you will allow their use. “Tryon Departs for White Poppy (Part 1)” If you do, who are these quotes from, your dad, perhaps? And how exactly would you like your credit line to read.

        Again, Thank you for all this great research. I cannot imagine doing what I am today wiyth out the information available on line.

        Have a great day,

  5. Frank Zwolinski January 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi Tim,
    Sorry to be a post but since I have not heard back from you I am repeating my question below.

    May I use the first two quoted paragraphs listed at the start of your page which describe the convoy? “Tryon Departs for White Poppy (Part 1)” If you do, who are these quotes from, your dad, perhaps? And how exactly would you like your credit line to read.

    Thanks again for your time,

    • rememberthetitans January 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      Hi Frank! I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you – I kept intending to, but was waiting until I had a little extra time for my response, and I just hadn’t taken care of it. I apologize.

      The quotes that you are asking me about actually came from “The South Pacific Express,” by Mac Perry. I think I have your email address; I will send you a couple of pages that include those quotes to give them a frame of reference for you. I’m a little ashamed that I didn’t have those footnoted. I’ll try to correct that.

      I also wanted to let you know that I have access to the war diaries from USS Raleigh, as well as her muster rolls, which undoubtedly include your dad. If those would be helpful to you just let me know, and I’ll find them and send them on to you, one way or another!

  6. Frank Zwolinski January 26, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! You are a Prince!!!
    I will be happy and grateful to receive any and all information you may have.
    Do you happen to have a contact for Mac Perry so I may ask his permission to use those quotes? My email is: fzwolinski@santarosa.edu, and my snail mail is 416 Denton Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Phone: 707-546-6903.

    Thank you most sincerely,

    • rememberthetitans January 26, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

      Hi Frank – my understanding regarding the quotation of other works is that as long as the quotation is brief and is properly credited, you aren’t required to get permission for using the quote. That said, you are welcome to seek permission for that if you wish. As you may have read in my blog, “The South Pacific Express” was a privately published book, most likely produced in a pretty small number of copies. Mac Perry, the author of that little gem, passed away in 1993. His son, Andrew, has posted on this blog and left his email: aperryphd@gmail.com . If you wish to contact him just to make sure everything is kosher and perhaps provide yourself with a little peace of mind, I feel pretty certain that he’d be happy for you to quote from his dad’s book.

      I’ll start looking for the stuff I told you about tonight. Life is pretty busy right now, so give me a couple of days to get it all together. If I can email the info to you I will. If it amounts to too much to email, I’ll mail it to you! I’ll let you know either way.

  7. Frank Zwolinski January 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    Tim, Thank you!!
    You are tops!
    Please take you time.

  8. Karis Say-Cavecche March 12, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    I am so excited to stumble on your blog! My late husband Eugene Cavecche served on the Tryon I think for the duration of the war. Like others mentioned above he entered the Navy as soon after Pearl Harbor as he could get in. He talked some about his experiences, mostly on the positive side. I am hoping to share your blog with his seven children from his first marriage. I know they will be very interested in all this. Karis Say-Cavecche

    • rememberthetitans March 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      Hi Karis! I appreciate your comments. I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I feel like I recognize Eugene’s name, but I can’t quite figure out why. Eugene is on the list I blogged about that served as Tryon’s first crew (although I doubt I remember him from that!). From among that group was a smaller group of Tryon sailors who were still serving aboard the ship when the war came to an end, and Eugene was among that group as well. I have put together a list of men who served on Tryon from her commissioning to the end of the war, Eugene among them, and eventually I plan to post that list to the blog. My dad served exclusively aboard Tryon, but he joined the crew on 4 May 1943 in Noumea, New Caledonia, and served aboard her till the end of the war. Eugene joined her crew in San Francisco (Alameda actually), shortly before she sailed to San Diego and then to the South Pacific in October, 1942.

      I’d love to hear from some of Eugene’s children, if they’d care to leave a comment. I’d also be happy to answer your Tryon questions so far as I’m able.

      Thanks again for your comments!

  9. Gregory E. Morck April 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    My grandfather Carl E. Morck served as one of the ships commanding officers on board the Tryon. As a young boy I heard many stories of his time during the war. He had a large framed picture of the Tryon on his living room wall in California during the 1950s and I am sure would be pleased to know so many people are starting to find out the stories that relate to all those that served on this ship. My family had a copy of the book Mac Perry wrote, but unfortunately it was loaned to someone and was never returned, so I am looking for a copy as well in order to try and piece together facts about my grandfathers time on board the Tryon. I would love hear from others as well and share any info I have. Greg .E. Morck

    • rememberthetitans April 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Greg! Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and for leaving your comments. It means a lot to me to hear from family members of Tryon’s officers/crew. As I’m sure you know, your grandfather relieved Commander Alfred Byrholdt on 26 September 1944 to become Captain of Tryon. Commander Byrholdt had served as Tryon’s captain from the time of her commissioning on 29 September 1942 until he was relieved by Commander Morck on 26 September 1944, almost two years to the day. Commander Morck was relieved by Commander W. G. Jones on 12 December 1944, with Morck commanding Tryon just under three months. As you probably know, Cmdr. Morck originally was ordered to Tryon to relieve Comdr. H. T. Doughty as Executive Officer. Here is Mac Perry’s reporting of the change:

      “En route [from Auckland to Noumea] orders came through for Comdr. Doughty. He was ordered to duty at Empress Augustine Bay and was to be relieved by Comdr. Carl Morck, USNR . . .

      “Departed for Noumea [having made the round-trip to Noumea and back to Auckland] on the 19th and anchored there on the 21st [21 February 1944]. Comdr. Carl Morck, USNR, tall and distinguished looking, reported aboard as executive officer. Everyone was wondering what kind of so-and-so he would be since it was the custom or practice for execs to be such critters, or so we had been told. We knew he had been on the staff of the Third Amphibious Force and that he was well-liked there. Our first impressions were favorable with reservations. We were watching and waiting for after all he was the exec . . .

      “On the 22nd, sailed for the Russells with 1052 troop-passengers, arriving on the 25th. The next day moved down to Guadal, embarked 419 patients and departed for Noumea, arriving on the 28th. The new exec had the boys puzzled. He was friendly, straight forward and a warm human being, who was tough only when necessary. Execs were not supposed to be like that.

      “On our arrival at Espiritu on the 7th, the exec invited all officers not on duty to be his guest at the officer’s club to “wet down his stripes”. (He had been promoted to commander just before coming to the Tryon.)

      “Departed on the 8th for Noumea, arriving on the 9th. There had certainly been a decided change in the atmosphere of the wardroom and some said it just couldn’t last . . .

      “On our arrival at Noumea, the 23rd, sent our patients ashore, embarked 817 troop-passengers and sailed in the afternoon for Auckland, docking on the 25th.

      “Here the exec continued to prove he was a gentleman. The jeep was available to other officers, he went to the Grand Hotel with us and even tolerated the musicals put on in the lounge by Guyette, Buys, Hagman, Jimmy Smith, Butz, O’Meara and Perry . . .

      “April 6, the fun ended and we departed for Noumea, arriving on the afternoon of the 8th. If any of the so-called junior officers had any doubts about Carl Morck, they ended on the afternoon and night of the 9th. He took the jeep ashore and asked the musical geniuses to stay ashore with him that night. After the “public” club closed, he decided more nightlife was in order, so we crashed the quiet, sedate club at the navy hospital, Ense Vata. I am sure after that night the club was never the same. With “Indian Joe” whipping the ivories and the songs of the T-chorus ringing out, the base doctors were ready to abandon ship. When we finally got the jeep in the boat and back to the ship, Hank Butler, the now serious first lieutenant, could have pitched us all overboard.”

      So Commander Morck’s service aboard Tryon totaled nearly ten months.

      Later, Perry describes the change of command aboard Tryon this way:

      “On the 24th of September, 1944, almost two years from the day the Tryon was commissioned, Captain Byrholdt was relieved of his command by Carl Morck. It must have been difficult to give up the command of such a ship, but he certainly deserved the transfer back to the states, and it must have given him some satisfaction to know that his friend Carl Morck was succeeding him.”

      By all indications, over his tenure as skipper your grandfather commanded the ship in a way that kept morale high, and Tryon continued to be, as Mac Perry described her, a “happy ship.”

      I’m sure I have information to share with you that you will be interested in. Also, I would love to get a photo of Commander Morck, if you happen to have one of him from his Navy days. For a long time I’ve wanted to post photos of Tryon sailors, and I hope to do that very soon. I’d love to include one of your granddad. I’ll contact you via the email address that you provided.

      Thanks again for visiting my blog and posting your comments!

      Tim Hughes

  10. Jennifer Ann November 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    My great-grandfather is H.T. Doughty.

    • rememberthetitans November 13, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      Hi Jennifer Ann! I’m so happy to hear from you. I’m sure you saw my post about Admiral Doughty. He was an interesting man who served his country with distinction for much of his life. I’m sure you are very proud of him.

      • madisonrealtorjen July 21, 2018 at 11:20 am #

        I never knew him, as I do not know my biological mother’s side of my family. I’d like to know how you found so much information on Hartwell.

      • rememberthetitans July 21, 2018 at 11:52 am #

        I pieced things together from various sources. I started with the information that is given about him in the little book about Tryon, “The South Pacific Express.” I used Google to research the story of the USS Ward at Pearl Harbor and his participation in firing the first shot of the Pacific War. A lot of the stuff I found by just Googling either his name or something he participated in and wrote about that. I also have access to both Ancestry.com and Fold3.com, which both have a lot of information that is useful. If you look at the end of my post about Hartwell T. Doughty you will find a list of sources where I found the information.

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