Questions focused on identifying "ringleaders" of the work-stoppage and on what was said by whom at the meeting on the prison barge. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island, African-American mutinies in the United States Armed Forces, Largest artificial non-nuclear explosions, List of accidents and incidents involving transport or storage of ammunition, World War II: The Navy. The Port Chicago disaster was a deadly munitions explosion that occurred on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California, United States. [2] Widespread publicity surrounding the case turned it into a cause célèbre among certain Americans; it and other race-related Navy protests of 1944–45 led the Navy to change its practices and initiate the desegregation of its forces beginning in February 1946. [50], Among the prisoners, Seaman First Class Joseph Randolph "Joe" Small, a winch operator in Division Four was asked by officers to assemble a handful of reliable men as a team of acting petty officers and to keep the other prisoners on good behavior. Approximately two-thirds of the dead and injured were enlisted African American sailors. At 9:05 a.m., in the harbor of Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the most devastating manmade explosion in the pre-atomic age occurs when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, explodes 20 minutes after colliding with another vessel. Item showing areas dangerous because of unexploded mines, and ammunition dumped at sea. [25][26], The Liberty ship SS E. A. Bryan docked at the inboard, landward side of Port Chicago's single 1,500 ft (460 m) pier at 8:15 a.m. on July 13, 1944. Refusal to obey an order was not mutiny. Marshall had flown to the Bay Area on a special wartime travel priority arranged by Navy Secretary Forrestal. On November 1, 1943, the USS Perida with the 93 rd Seabees aboard awaited her turn to pull into the crowded harbor at Noumea, New Caledonia. Marshall pointed to the men of Division One who had refused to load ammunition prior to August 9, but had been shipped out and given other duty, not arrested and court-martialed. [65], On September 15, Delucchi continued his testimony, saying that some of his men told him they would obey all orders and perform all work except loading ammunition because they were afraid of it. Albert Carr, a civil service plumber from Pittsburg, California, was called to replace it; it was his first day at Port Chicago. [6], The town of Port Chicago was located on Suisun Bay in the estuary of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Freely downloadable at the Internet Archive, where I first uploaded it. The devastation in Liverpool docks after the ammunition ship 'Malakand' blew up after catching fire on the night of 3rd May 1941. [50], The Navy would not countenance such conduct, especially in time of war. It was manned by Merchant Marines and some guards. [88] In all, the Navy granted clemency to about 1,700 imprisoned men at this time. 3 hold, 40 mm shells into No. [24], Commander Paul B. Cronk, head of a Coast Guard explosives-loading detail tasked with supervision of the working dock, warned the Navy that conditions were unsafe and ripe for disaster. "[15] This was the first that the newspaper reporters had heard of speed and tonnage competition between divisions at Port Chicago, and each reporter filed a story featuring this revelation to be published the next day. The general trend of the men's responses was that all of them were willing to obey any order except to load ammunition, all were afraid of another explosion, and none had been approached by "ringleaders" persuading them not to work‍—‌each had made his own decision. public. She had sought $50,000.[47]. Port Chicago Disaster - July 17, 1944. [27], Sixty-seven officers and crew of the two ships were at their stations, and various support personnel were present such as the three-man civilian train crew and a Marine sentry. "[42] The officers in charge were cleared of guilt. [90] The mutiny trial was seen as underscoring the tense race relations in the armed forces at the time. 1044), which, in addition to calling for another five acres, allowed for the City of Concord and the East Bay Regional Park District "...to establish and operate a facility for visitor orientation and parking, administrative offices, and curatorial storage for the Memorial. The ship was about 40% full by the evening of July 17. The men described how they were initially trained for action on ships and were disappointed when they were not assigned to ocean-going ships. Clouds of smoke are seen spreading over the harbour. [38], After the fires had been contained there remained the task of cleaning up‍—‌body parts and corpses littered the bay and port. Instead, reporters observed the court to be drowsy at times, with one judge regularly nodding off. when their actions concerning loading ammunition after the explosion were not significantly different from the other 208 men. (Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool stands there, now). 320 men died, including 202 African-Americans, and 390 others were injured. Lieutenant Tobin (no relation to Commander Joseph R. Tobin) related that 87 of his men initially refused to work but that number was reduced to 22 after Admiral Wright talked about the firing squad. It was thought that would be safe, but there was an ammunition factory behind his Auntie’s. Diagram from the Port Chicago board of inquiry's report showing the facility's munitions pier at the time of the disaster. Then, on July 17, 1944, two ships containing two thousand tons of munitions exploded for reasons that remain unknown. The original magazine was planned in 1941 with construction beginning shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Forrestal told Roosevelt that white units of munitions loaders were to be added to the rotation "...to avoid any semblance of discrimination against negroes [sic]. The Navy found that racial inequities were responsible for the sailors' ammunition-loading assignments but that no prejudice occurred at the courts-martial. Bryan.. On June 11, 2019, a concurrent resolution sponsored by U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier was introduced in the 116th United States Congress. An officer who left the docks shortly after 10 p.m. noticed that the Quinault′s propeller was slowly turning over and that the men of Division Three were having trouble pulling munitions from the rail cars because they had been packed so tightly. On 7 December 1941, East and Middle Lochs exploded in flames during the Japanese air attacks that brought the United States into World War II. Enjoy this [relatively] clear film of ammunition ship SS John Burke being completely destroyed in one of the largest manmade non-nuclear explosions in the history of the world. Ae ): by type, class, and 390 others were injured ; the remaining were... Were hospitalized, and 390 others were injured nearby stations nominated for the sailors ' ammunition-loading but. Had overseen previous loading procedures, only 51 could be identified the tense race relations in the Pacific Theater of... In sympathy to the men were assembled and marched off the arsenal assists... 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