Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Last updated
Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Port-Chicago-memorial.jpg

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location Concord, California, U.S.
Nearest city Oakland, California
Coordinates 38°3′27″N122°1′47″W / 38.05750°N 122.02972°W / 38.05750; -122.02972 Coordinates: 38°3′27″N122°1′47″W / 38.05750°N 122.02972°W / 38.05750; -122.02972
Area 5 acres (2.0 ha) [1]
Established October 28, 1992 (1992-October-28)
Visitors 545(in 2011) [2]
Governing body U.S. Navy & National Park Service
Website Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
Aftermath of the Port Chicago explosion. Portchicago.jpg
Aftermath of the Port Chicago explosion.

The Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is a memorial dedicated in 1994 recognizing the dead of the Port Chicago disaster, and the critical role played by Port Chicago, California during World War II, in serving as the main facility for the Pacific Theater of Operations. The memorial is located at the Concord Naval Weapons Station near Concord, California, in the United States.

Port Chicago disaster 1944 explosion at Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California, United States

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. Munitions detonated while being loaded onto a cargo vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, killing 320 sailors and civilians and injuring 390 others. Most of the dead and injured were enlisted African American sailors.

Port Chicago, California Place in California, United States

Port Chicago was a town on the southern banks of Suisun Bay, in Contra Costa County, California. It was located 6.5 miles (10 km) east-northeast of Martinez, at an elevation of 13 feet. It is best known as the site of a devastating explosion at its Naval Munitions Depot during World War II.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

The 1944 Port Chicago disaster occurred at the naval magazine and resulted in the largest domestic loss of life during World War II. 320 sailors and civilians were instantly killed on July 17, 1944, when the ships they were loading with ammunition and bombs exploded. The majority of the deaths were African American sailors working for the racially segregated military. The explosion and its aftermath led to the largest Naval mutiny in US history, and it and the subsequent trial became major catalysts for the United States Navy to desegregate following the war.[ citation needed ]

Magazine (artillery) Place of storage for ammunition or other explosive material

Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition or other explosive material is stored. It is taken originally from the Arabic word "makhāzin" (مخازن), meaning storehouses, via Italian and Middle French.

Racial segregation separation of humans

Racial segregation is the systemic separation of people into racial or other ethnic groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, riding on a bus, or in the rental or purchase of a home or of hotel rooms. Segregation is defined by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance as "the act by which a person separates other persons on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds without an objective and reasonable justification, in conformity with the proposed definition of discrimination. As a result, the voluntary act of separating oneself from other people on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds does not constitute segregation". According to the UN Forum on Minority Issues, "The creation and development of classes and schools providing education in minority languages should not be considered impermissible segregation, if the assignment to such classes and schools is of a voluntary nature".

Mutiny is a criminal conspiracy among a group of people to openly oppose, change, or overthrow a lawful authority to which they are subject. The term is commonly used for a rebellion among members of the military against their superior officers, but it can also occasionally refer to any type of rebellion against authority figures or governances.

History

The national memorial, administered by the National Park Service, was authorized by Public Law 102-562 on October 28, 1992. The memorial was dedicated in 1994 and is located on the grounds of the Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO), formerly the Tidal Area of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The memorial is only open to the public through reserved guided tours. On October 28, 2009, the Memorial became an official unit of the National Park System.

National Park Service United States federal agency

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.

Military Ocean Terminals are operated by the U.S. Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) for distribution of surface cargo from storage and repair depots to military forward based units.

Concord Naval Weapons Station

Concord Naval Weapons Station was a military base established in 1942 north of the city of Concord, California at the shore of the Sacramento River where it widens into Suisun Bay. The station functioned as a World War II armament storage depot, supplying ships at Port Chicago. Concord NWS continued to support war efforts during the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War, processing and shipping thousands of tons of materiel out across the Pacific Ocean. During World War II it also had a Naval Outlying Field at the southern edge of the base. It ceased being an operating airfield after World War II.

Plans

The Port Chicago Committee is working toward expanding the current memorial to encompass 250 acres (1.0 km2) of the former Port Chicago waterfront. The memorial site could include some of the railroad revetments and old boxcars from the 1940s period, as well as the existing memorial chapel, with stained-glass windows depicting the World War II operations.[ citation needed ]

See also

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park American national park

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park is a United States national historical park located in Richmond, California, near San Francisco. The park preserves and interprets the legacy of the United States home front during World War II, including the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, the Victory ship SS Red Oak Victory, a tank factory, housing developments and other facilities built to support America's entry into World War II. In particular, the role of women and African-Americans in war industries is explored and honored.

Related Research Articles

Seabee member of the United States Naval Construction Forces

United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Seabees, form the Naval Construction Force (NCF) of the United States Navy. Their nickname is a heterograph of the first initials "C.B." from the words Construction Battalion. Depending upon how the word is used "Seabee" can refer to one of three things: all the enlisted personnel in the USN's occupational field-7 (OF-7), all officers and enlisted assigned to the Naval Construction Force, or the U.S. Navy's Construction Battalions (CBs). Seabees also serve outside the NCF. During WWII they served in both the Naval Combat Demolition Units and the UDTs as well as the United States Marine Corps. Today they can be found in the Naval Support Unit: Department of State and under both Commanders, Naval Surface Force Alantic/Pacific fleets.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard

The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean. It is located 25 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo, California. The Napa River goes through the Mare Island Strait and separates the peninsula shipyard from the main portion of the city of Vallejo. MINSY made a name for itself as the premier US West Coast submarine port as well as serving as the controlling force in San Francisco Bay Area shipbuilding efforts during World War II. The base closed in 1996 and has gone through several redevelopment phases. It was registered as a California Historical Landmark in 1960, and parts of it were declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1975.

Concord, California City in California, United States

Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067 making it the 8th largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 29 miles east of San Francisco.

Naval Station Great Lakes naval training base for the United States Navy near Chicago, Illinois, USA

Naval Station Great Lakes is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located near North Chicago, in Lake County, Illinois. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago. Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy. The base has 1,153 buildings situated on 1,628 acres (6.59 km2) and has 69 miles (111 km) of roadway to provide access to the base's facilities. Within the naval service, it has several different nicknames, including "The Quarterdeck of the Navy", or the more derogatory "Great Mistakes".

USS <i>Vesuvius</i> (AE-15)

The fourth USS Vesuvius (AE-15) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, Wilmington, N.C.; launched on 26 May 1944; acquired by the United States Navy on 4 July 1944; and commissioned on 16 January 1945, Comdr. Flavius J. George in command.

United States Navy Memorial memorial in Washington, D.C.

The United States Navy Memorial, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 7th Street Northwest and 9th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., honors those who have served or are currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.

Ben Moreell United States Navy admiral

Admiral Ben Moreell was the chief of the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks and of the Civil Engineer Corps. Best known to the American public as the Father of the Navy's Seabees, Moreell's life spanned eight decades, two world wars, a great depression and the evolution of the United States as a superpower. He was a distinguished Naval Officer, a brilliant engineer, an industrial giant and articulate national spokesman.

National Museum of the United States Navy

The National Museum of the United States Navy, or U.S. Navy Museum for short, is the flagship museum of the United States Navy and is located in the former Breech Mechanism Shop of the old Naval Gun Factory on the grounds of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., United States.

USS <i>LST-353</i> United States navy ship

USS LST-353 was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. It was destroyed on 21 May 1944 when an explosion on its deck sparked the West Loch Disaster in Pearl Harbor naval base.

Template:Infobox Retired US Navy Officer Joseph F. Bouchard retired from the US Navy in 2003 as a Captain after 27 years on active duty. He commanded the destroyer USS Oldendorf and Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was a U.S. National Monument honoring events, people, and sites of the Pacific Theater engagement of the United States during World War II. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law March 12, 2019, abolished the National Monument, replacing it with Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Aleutian Islands World War II National Monument, and Tule Lake National Monument.

USS <i>LST-480</i>

USS LST-480 was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy used in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during World War II.

West Loch disaster US maritime disaster

The West Loch Disaster was a maritime accident during World War II at the Pearl Harbor U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii. The incident, which occurred just after 1500 hrs. on Sunday 21 May 1944, began following an explosion in a staging area for Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) and other amphibious assault ships in West Loch. A fire quickly spread among the ships being prepared for Operation Forager, the invasion of the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. Over the next 24 hours, six LSTs sank, 163 naval personnel died and 396 were injured.

Racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces, which has included separation of white and people of color troops, quotas, restriction of people of color troops to support roles, and outright bans on blacks and other people of color serving in the military, has been a part of the military history of the United States since the American Revolution. Each branch of the Armed Forces has historically had different policies regarding racial segregation. Although Executive Order 9981 officially ended segregation in the Armed Forces in 1948, following World War II, some forms of racial segregation continued until after the Korean War.

References

  1. "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  2. "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
United States Department of the Interior United States federal executive department responsible for management and conservation of federal lands and natural resources

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States. About 75% of federal public land is managed by the department, with most of the remainder managed by the United States Department of Agriculture's United States Forest Service.