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Port Chicago Sailors

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Port Chicago Sailors

Birth
Death
17 Jul 1944
Port Chicago, Contra Costa County, California, USA
Burial
San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA Add to Map
Plot
Section H (Sites 666, 760, 1057, 1130, 1158, 1216); Section L (Sites 6038, 6044-6045, 8215, 8246, 8249, 8253, 8285, 8288-8289, 8291-8292, 8300, 8304-8305, 8307-8308, 8328, 8333, 8336, 8342)
Memorial ID
View Source
The unknown remains of 27 members of the Navy, Coast Guard or other service are interred in individual graves along with several whose remains have been identified.

All were among the 320 who died in the July 17, 1944 explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine near Concord, California, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. The Magazine served as a major weapons loading facility for the Pacific Theater during World War II, and was heavily staffed by black sailors who worked under the supervision of white officers. Racial tension was high due to poor training and abusive treatment by officers. Following the explosion, which resulted in the largest homefront loss of life during World War II (and the deaths of 10% of all U.S. African-American sailors lost during that war), 50 of the surviving black sailors refused to resume loading operations due to ongoing safety concerns. The Navy convicted all 50 of mutiny, and the case became a landmark in the fight to desegregate the U.S. military.

The site of the explosion was made a National Memorial in the 1990s and added to the U.S. National Parks system.

Due to the efforts of Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and others concerned with the injustice of the prosecutions, President Bill Clinton pardoned one of the three surviving sailors, Freddie Meeks, in 1999.

*********************************************************


Note added by Tom Brocher based on the Casualty List published in the Navy Court of Inquiry of the Explosion.

Port Chicago Victims buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery

Unknown, Sailor (twenty-seven total):

Section H (Sites 666, 760, 1057, 1130, 1158, 1216)

Section L (Sites 6038, 6044-6045, 8215, 8246, 8249, 8253, 8285, 8288-8289, 8291-8292, 8300, 8304-8305, 8307-8308, 8328, 8333, 8336, 8342)

Identified Victims (seventeen total, all interred in Section L):

Bridges, James: S2c, US Naval Barracks
Broda, Peter George: BM1c, US Coast Guard
Coffee, Eugene: S1c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Coley, Enos: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hamilton, A D: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hughes, Glenn: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hughes, Leroy: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hunnicutt, Raymond Virgil: Civilian Employee of the US Navy
Johnson, Harold: S2c, US Naval Barracks
Johnson, Milton Frank: S1c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Mathews, Lawrence: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
McFarland, Clarence K: CCMT, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Nettles, Willis: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Riley, Charles Hobart, S1c, US Coast Guard
Sanders, Robert: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Walker, Walter Lee: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Woods, James Edward: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
The unknown remains of 27 members of the Navy, Coast Guard or other service are interred in individual graves along with several whose remains have been identified.

All were among the 320 who died in the July 17, 1944 explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine near Concord, California, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. The Magazine served as a major weapons loading facility for the Pacific Theater during World War II, and was heavily staffed by black sailors who worked under the supervision of white officers. Racial tension was high due to poor training and abusive treatment by officers. Following the explosion, which resulted in the largest homefront loss of life during World War II (and the deaths of 10% of all U.S. African-American sailors lost during that war), 50 of the surviving black sailors refused to resume loading operations due to ongoing safety concerns. The Navy convicted all 50 of mutiny, and the case became a landmark in the fight to desegregate the U.S. military.

The site of the explosion was made a National Memorial in the 1990s and added to the U.S. National Parks system.

Due to the efforts of Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and others concerned with the injustice of the prosecutions, President Bill Clinton pardoned one of the three surviving sailors, Freddie Meeks, in 1999.

*********************************************************


Note added by Tom Brocher based on the Casualty List published in the Navy Court of Inquiry of the Explosion.

Port Chicago Victims buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery

Unknown, Sailor (twenty-seven total):

Section H (Sites 666, 760, 1057, 1130, 1158, 1216)

Section L (Sites 6038, 6044-6045, 8215, 8246, 8249, 8253, 8285, 8288-8289, 8291-8292, 8300, 8304-8305, 8307-8308, 8328, 8333, 8336, 8342)

Identified Victims (seventeen total, all interred in Section L):

Bridges, James: S2c, US Naval Barracks
Broda, Peter George: BM1c, US Coast Guard
Coffee, Eugene: S1c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Coley, Enos: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hamilton, A D: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hughes, Glenn: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hughes, Leroy: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Hunnicutt, Raymond Virgil: Civilian Employee of the US Navy
Johnson, Harold: S2c, US Naval Barracks
Johnson, Milton Frank: S1c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Mathews, Lawrence: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
McFarland, Clarence K: CCMT, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Nettles, Willis: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Riley, Charles Hobart, S1c, US Coast Guard
Sanders, Robert: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Walker, Walter Lee: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago
Woods, James Edward: S2c, US Naval Barracks, Port Chicago

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