Essay The Disaster of Port Chicago, California, during World War II

Essay The Disaster of Port Chicago, California, during World War II

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The site of the biggest home front disaster of World War II is in Port Chicago, California. This place of importance is often overlooked by many but has a great history behind it. The area is concealed by the surrounding Suisun Bay, Belloma Slough, and other bodies of water. The history of Port Chicago also includes racial issues which involve African-Americans and the cases that followed up some incidents in court until recently resolved. In Port Chicago, California stands a permanent memorial honoring the tragic unrest involving African-Americans who were treated unfairly.
The area of Port Chicago is very unique and plays a big part of the history. Port Chicago Naval Ammunition Depot was located at Mare Island, California and was once a munitions facility in the San Francisco Bay area. The importance of this specific site is that it was the gateway to the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Therefore, a large amount of transportation including exporting and importing was done here.
A very historic event and detailed story took place in Port Chicago, California. An election was held in wartime emergency on January 4, 1943 to whom the people chose Earl Warren for governor of California. Then on July 17, 1944, a huge explosion of two ammunition ships occurred at the Naval Ammunition Depot on the Sacramento River. A great amount of damage was done to this now destroyed base, which was originally a segregated unit. Two cargo ships were tied up at the wrecked pier and the number of sailors and ammunition handlers killed instantly varied from 200 to 320, with 202 being black sailors, depending on the resource. However, this blast was quick to be called a mutiny and legal matters were brought up almost immediately.
The ammunition b...


... middle of paper ...


...ent which was well deserved. Numerous photos are even in existence of the damage, the Navy, and everything involving Port Chicago for those searching for further reference. Port Chicago, California, the site of the biggest home front disaster of World War II, will always be important in history as well as a site for remembrance.


Works Cited
“Friends of Port Chicago” 24 June 2009.
(13 December 2009)

Allen, Robert L. "Injustice upheld in Port Chicago mutiny trial."
Black Scholar 24.1 (1994): 56.

"Home Front Munitions Disaster Site Proposed as National Park."
World War II 22.7 (2007): 13.

Lanning, Michael L. The African American Soldier: From Crispus Attacks to Colin
Powell. Secaucus NJ; First Carol Publishing Group 1999

Rolie, Andrew F. California History.
United States; Thomas Y. Crowell Company, Inc. 1969

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