James R. Tryon, born on 24 September 1837 at Coxsackie, N.Y., was appointed an Acting Assistant Surgeon (Volunteer) on 17 March 1863. After serving briefly at the United States Naval Hospital in New-York City, Tryon spent the last two years of the Civil War at Pensacola, Fla., caring for sick and wounded officers and men of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron.
After duty ashore in Boston and Washington, Tryon served in Idaho on the Asiatic Station from 4 February 1870 to 9 December 1872. Next came an assignment in New York City from 1873 to 1876. Following two years in Swatara on the North Atlantic Station, he was transferred to Vandalia. Next came duty in New York City for two and one-half years and service in Alaska on the Pacific Station until 1883. He served on board Quinnebaug on the European Station and off Africa until 1887 when he was assigned to the Medical Examining Board in New York.
Tryon was promoted to medical inspector on 22 September 1891 and served in Chicago on the North Atlantic Station until 1893 when he was promoted to Surgeon General of the United States Navy with the rank of commodore. The culmination of his career came on 7 September 1893 when Commodore Tryon became Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and Surgeon General. He retired on 24 September 1899. In 1911, Tryon was promoted to the rank of rear admiral, retroactive to his date of retirement. Admiral Tryon died on 20 March 1912 at the Naval Hospital in New York City, where he had begun his naval career almost half a century before.
(APH-1: displacement 9,920; length 450'0"; beam 62'0"; draft 23'6"; speed 18 knots (trial.); complement 455; troop caoacity 1,274; armament 1 5-inch, 12 40-millimeter; class Tryon; type. C2-S1-A1)
Alcoa Courier was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (M.C. Hull 175) on 26 March 1941 at Oakland, Calif., by the Moore Drydock Co.; launched on 21 October 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Roy G. Hunt; renamed Comfort in June 1942; then renamed Tryon on 13 August 1942; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission on 29 September 1942; and commissioned on 30 September 1942, Comdr. Alfred J. Byrholdt in command.
The transport evacuation ship got underway for San Diego on 9 October 1942 and departed from there on the 21st, bound for New Caledonia. On 7 November, she arrived at Noumea; joined the Service Squadron, South Pacific; and remained with that organization for the next 15 months, evacuating combat casualties from the Solomons to Suva, Noumea, Wellington, Auckland, and Brisbane. On her return trips to the forward areas, she carried priority cargo and troops for forces fighting the Japanese.
Tryon's first combat duty came in the Marianas during the summer of 1944. On 16 July, she joined Task Force 51 at Lunga Point and sortied for the invasion of Tinian. The hospital transport arrived off the beaches on the 24th, combat loaded with troops and equipment. After unloading, she embarked casualties for a week and then got underway for the Marshalls. The ship called at Eniwetok, New Caledonia, Espiritu Santo, and the Russell Islands before anchoring off Guadalcanal on 27 August.
Tryon embarked 1,323 Marines of the 1st Marine Division and sortied on 8 September 1944, with Transport Division 6 of Task Force 32, for the assault on the Palaus. She was off the beaches of Peleliu on the morning of the 15th and disembarked elements of the assault wave. Then, serving as a hospital evacuation ship, she embarked 812 combat casualties and, on the 20th, stood out for Manus. She disembarked the patients at Seeadler Harbor four days later and headed back to Peleliu the next morning. The ship remained off the beaches from 28 September to 4 October and then joined a convoy bound for the Solomons.
When Tryon arrived at Tulagi on 11 October 1944, she was assigned to the Seventh Fleet to participate in the Leyte campaign. She called at Hollandia and Humboldt Bay en route and reached Leyte on the 30th. The ship completed unloading the next day and began the return voyage to the South Pacific. The transport loaded troops and cargo at Langemak Bay from 13 through 27 December and headed for Manus on 28 December 1944.
On 2 January 1945, Tryon stood out of Manus with Task Group 77.9, the reinforcement group, for the invasion of Luzon on the beaches of the Lingayen Gulf. She arrived off San Fabian on the morning of the 11th and began unloading troops and supplies. From 13 to 27 January, she received casualties on board and headed to Leyte Gulf where they were transferred to Hope (AH-9) and Bountiful (AH-7). On 2 February, she joined a convoy and departed for the Solomons.
On 22 February 1945, the evacuation hospital ship got underway and proceeded via Pearl Harbor to the United States for an overhaul. She arrived at San Francisco on 11 March and remained in the navy yard until 20 May. After refresher training in San Diego, she sailed for Hawaii on 3 June and arrived at Pearl Harbor the following week. The transport then called at Eniwetok, Guam, and San Francisco before returning to Hawaii on 2 August. The next day, she headed for Guam and arrived there on the 15th to hear that hostilities with Japan had ceased. Tryon was routed to the Philippines, embarked occupation troops at Leyte, and joined a convoy for Japan on 1 September. The transport disembarked the troops at Yokohama and received liberated Allied prisoners of war en board for transportation to the Philippines. She disembarked them at Manila on the 18th.
On 1 October 1944, Tryon was assigned to the Magic Carpet fleet which was established at the end of the war to return troops to the United States. She served with it through the end of the year. In mid-January 1946, the ship was slated for inactivation. She was decommissioned at Seattle on 20 March 1946, returned to the War Shipping Administration in April, and stricken from the Naval Register on 17 April 1946.
Tryon was turned over to the United States Army on 17 July 1946 and converted into a troop transport, AP-186, by the Todd Shipyard, Seattle, Wash. She emerged from the yard on 25 August 1947 and was placed in service as Sgt. Charles E. Mower. The Secretary of Defense, by a directive dated 2 August 1949, established a unified sea transportation service; and, on 1 March 1950, the ship was transferred back to the Navy Department, assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and designated T-AP-186.
Sgt. Charles E. Mower operated as a dependent transport with MSTS shuttling between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor until she was inactivated in 1954. Sgt Charles E. Mower was placed out of service, in reserve, on 16 June 1954; transferred to the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay; and stricken from the Naval Vessel Regioster on 1 July 1960.
Tryon (APH-1) received six battle stars for her World War II service.