Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Port Chicago visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about thirty three minutes which we have divided into 30 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 to 12 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the history of the park. Sections 13 to 20 cover the back of the brochure which consists of the names of those men who gave their lives in this WWII explosion, as well as information on how to see the park.

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OVERVIEW: Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, located in California, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The one acre park is situated 10 miles east of Martinez at the edge of the Suisun Bay. This park, officially established in 2008 , is the fourth addition of national park sites in Contra Costa County. Each year, a thousand visitors are lucky enough to come experience the understanding that only can be had at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial. We invite you to explore the park's memorial with a ranger at a now peaceful bend in Suisun Bay. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, please ask the park ranger or visit us online at www.nps.gov/poch. Information and our parks film can also can be found at the John Muir National Historic Site visitor's center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front of the brochure includes quotes, text,historic photographs, and a map. Most photos are black and white unless indicated as color. At the top and bottom third of the page are two photographs of men loading munitions (top), and the destruction of Pier 1 (bottom), after the explosion. In the middle is the story, told in text, along with two smaller photos and a map illistration. Descriptions and text are presented under their own sections.

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TEXT: Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

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IMAGES: Photos of Port Chicago Magazine


Loader teams at each of the ship’s holds used muscle and steam winches (above) to wrestle bombs, shells, and mines from the cars into the holds.


United States Navy 


This dramatic black and white photo is a close-up of two men on a ship loading cargo, with various sections of ship pipes and beams visible in the frame.  At the left side of the photo , a very large load of ordnance boxes is suspended mid-air in a rope net, apparently attached to a steam winch that is not visible in the frame.  A sailor in uniform is standing on a middle level of the ship deck, bending over and securing a load of cargo with rope while looking upwards into the camera.  His hat is tilted to the left and he appears to be grimacing slightly from exertion. On the right side next to him on the deck are additional piles of rope and cargo.  On an upper deck and to the right, a second man is standing with his hands grasping two waist-high parallel levers and his right foot extended forward.  He appears to be operating the winch carrying the ordnance boxes.  His head is uncovered and he is wearing light pants with a dark coat extending to his knees that has a generous tall collar standing up around his neck.


Driven by wartime demands, loaders worked around the clock. Yard engines pushed rail cars full of munitions onto the 1,200-foot pier (right). 


United States Navy 


Description text here

A black and white historic photo shows, on the left side of the frame, a large World War II-era cargo ship sitting at a long wooden pier extending diagonally inwards, with the back end of a light-colored rail car sitting nearby on the right side and partially out of view. Four steam winches extend outwards from the ship in the foreground, ready to be deployed. There appear to be numerous boxes and packages stacked up and down the pier, with one load being hoisted midair by a fifth winch in the distance.  Dark railroad tracks are clearly visible, extending from the bottom of the frame straight along the length of the pier parallel to the waiting ship, and another set curving inward from the bottom right of the frame over to the rail car.

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TEXT: I found myself flying towards the wall . . .

Cyril Sheppard was reliving the first explosion. Then the next one came right behind that. Phoom! . . . Men were screaming, the lights went out and glass was flying all over the place. For Sheppard and other seamen a mile away from the munitions loading pier, the monstrous blast was traumatic enough. Loaders and others at the pier that night—320 men—lost their lives. The 1944 Port Chicago explosion was the result of unsafe loading practices. When some loaders refused to return to work under the same conditions, the U.S. Navy put them on trial for mutiny. All the munitions loaders at the base were African American, making the explosion and trial a little-known but important chapter in the history of U.S. civil rights.

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MAP: Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial


Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial


United States Navy 


This is a basic drawing of a map of the San Francisco Bay area with north being at the top of the map. On the lower left side of the map is the Pacific Ocean. The tip of the San Francisco peninsula and city is located and labeled in the lower left corner too. To the right of San Francisco, at the bottom of the map and across the San Francisco Bay, is labeled the city of Oakland. North of Oakland in the east bay, the city of Berkeley is labeled, north of it is the city of Richmond. North of Richmond, and across the top of the San Francisco Bay to the west is the city of San Rafael. The larger San Pablo Bay is connected to the top of the San Francisco Bay. At the far east of San Pablo Bay, and the center top of the map is labeled the city of Vallejo. Just below Vallejo is boldly marked as "Site of Mare Island Shipyard". As the bay disappears into a narrow channel to the east, the city of Benicia is labeled in the north. The narrow Carquinez Straits begins to open into the wider but smaller bay to the east, Suisun Bay. In the top right corner, the bottom of Suisun Bay, in what would be the northern most part of the east bay, is even more boldly marked "Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial". Just below this is labeled the city of Concord, and to the south of it is labeled the city of Walnut Creek.

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With war threatening in the Pacific, the U.S. Navy needed to boost its West Coast capacity for storing and loading munitions. Port Chicago on Suisun Bay offered a deepwater terminal, rail connections, and isolation from highly populated areas. The December 1941 Pearl Harbor attack spurred on construction, and the facility was ready to load ships a year later.

The seamen assigned as loaders were all African American, a reflection of naval policies at the time. The Navy had recently allowed African Americans to train in duties outside their traditional roles as stewards, stevedores, or cooks, but even in time of war most were assigned to these menial jobs in segregated units. At Port Chicago the black munitions loaders were supervised by white officers and black petty officers.

Already chafing under segregation, the seamen grew increasingly apprehensive about the nature of the work. Neither they nor the officers had special training in handling munitions. Worse, officers placed bets on whose team could load the most tonnage. The facility also ignored advice from a local longshoremen’s union and the U.S. Coast Guard regarding safer loading practices.

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By July 1944 Port Chicago had widened its pier so two ships could be loaded. On the night of the 17th the E.A. Bryan was almost full. The Quinault Victory had arrived that day; loading would start at midnight. Sixteen rail cars lined the pier, filled with 1,000-pound bombs, depth charges, and sensitive incendiary bombs. Also at the pier were a marine guard; ships’ crews; a few civilians, including the rail crew; and a Coast Guard fire boat crew.

No one is sure what happened next—only that at 10:18 pm there was a tremendous explosion, followed seconds later by a much larger one that obliterated ships, pier, cars, and humans. The blast’s debris-filled cloud rose 12,000 feet into the air. Its shock wave was felt for 40 miles, and falling debris damaged most of the homes and businesses of the town of Port Chicago, over a mile away. The base’s injured were taken to nearby hospitals, while other survivors were left with the grim work of recovering their crewmates’ remains.

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Survivors anticipated 30 days leave—as their officers had received—and transfer to other duty, but the Navy granted neither. Instead they were sent to Mare Island Naval Shipyard and on August 9 were marched to the shipyard’s munitions pier to resume loading. Initially 258 refused, saying they were afraid to load. Threatened with death by firing squad for mutiny during war, 208 yielded. They were given bad conduct discharges after serving out their terms. The 50 who persisted faced the largest mass mutiny trial in naval history.

The prosecutor’s case turned on what he called “collective” acts to subvert established authority. The defense argued that while the 50 had refused to load, this was the result of each man’s fear and not a conspiracy to overthrow a superior. NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall publicly asked hard questions about the base’s safety practices, but the 50 were convicted and given sentences of 8 to 15 years. After the war the Navy granted clemency to the 50 and put them on ships to finish out their enlistments. Though their convictions were not overturned, their acts of civil disobedience brought to light the injustice of racial segregation in the military.

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IMAGE: Sailors Marching To Load Munitions


After the accident these black sailors had been transferred across the bay to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. On August 9th they were marched toward the USS San Gay to again load munitions.


United States Navy  


This historic black and white photograph shows a long, very wide wooden pier. In the center of the photo there are many black sailors walking in formation to the end of the pier in the direction of the photographer. They are all dressed similarly with long dark pants and lighter colored shirt. They are all wearing the white sailors cap. Their heads are up, and most of them are looking at the photographer.

 To the left of the photo, and the men, is a tall streetlight on the pier. To the left of the light, water can be seen below the pier with large wooden buildings on pilings to the rear of the marching men. Behind the sailors are more small wooden buildings at the head of the pier. Behind these,  a treeless hill rises with three low flat buildings and two antennas, one very tall, on it. In the lower right of the photo there are four long pipes laying on the side of the pier, out of the way of the marching sailors.

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IMAGE: After The Explosion


The blast reduced part of the pier to rubble; the rest disappeared. The stern section of Quinault Victory (upper right) was thrown 500 feet.




In this historic black and white photo, the photographer was standing at the head of the destroyed wooden pier looking out at the water. In the upper left of the photo is the bold hand stamped message, "OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH NOT TO BE RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION. NAVY YARD MARE ISLAND, CALIF."

The bottom of the photograph shows the thick heavy planking used in the pier construction. Planks on the left appear undamaged with two rail tracks leading out to the end of the ruined pier. Planks on the right are pushed up and jumbled, with large nails protruding out from them. There were also two rails leading from the right and crossing the other tracks out to the end of the ruined pier, but only half of one track is left. The others are torn away and missing. There are bent and broken pilings in the water to the right of the pier. 

 The top half of this photo is the remnants of the pier itself, bending out into the water and to the right. It does not resemble a pier anymore, but broken, jumbled and oddly shaped matchsticks sitting in the water. Beyond the curved end of the pier, further out in the water, is something else. In the upper right hand corner is a large uneven dark triangle jutting from the water. A little to the left of this is another smaller uneven dark triangle, with a longer thin piece on top, pointing at the other triangle. Just under this thin piece is an even smaller rounded part sticking out of the water. These are pieces of the hull of the over 400 foot S.S. Quinault Victory resting on the bottom of the bay. The smaller rounded part is the Quinault's propeller.

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

Side two of the brochure is comprised of text, and two photographs. The first photo is in the upper left of a ships bell being rung. The second photo is a color, and takes up the bottom of the page. The background behind the text is sky blue. The text and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections. In addition to the photo descriptions, the text sections provide many descriptive details about what the areas look like and information about getting there and what trails and amenities are available.

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TEXT: Remembering the Fallen

The 320 men who died in the Port Chicago explosion represented a cross-section of the base’s workforce: 202 African American enlisted personnel working as loaders that night

(15 percent of all African American deaths in World War II); nine of their officers; 64 members of the U.S. Maritime Service (crewmen on E.A. Bryan and Quinault Victory); 33 members of the U.S. Navy Armed Guard (military personnel assigned to cargo ships in wartime); three civilian Navy workers and three civilian contractors; five U.S. Coast Guard fire boat crewmen; and the Marine on guard duty that night.

Their deaths called attention to safety problems at munitions facilities. The Navy began addressing the issues of both safety and segregation in the months following the tragedy.

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IMAGE: Remembering the Fallen


A sailor is ringing a ship’s bell to remembering the fallen.


National Park Service


To the left of the introductory text at the top of this page is a close up photo of a man ringing a ships bell. The bell is in the foreground and is shined so that a reflection of the sun is seen in it. Under the bell a gloved hand is caught in mid ring, the man's face is hidden by the bell. He is wearing a dark jacket, white shirt, and dark tie. At the top left of the bell, part of the man's dark hat is seen. This photo is modern, but washed in a blue tint, as is the rest of the three quarters of background on this page.

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TEXT: The Toll


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Seaman Second Class James C. Akins

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Clarence Allen, Junior

Lieutenant, Junior Grade Maxie L. Anderson

Seaman Second Class Leslie K. Asahe

Seaman Second Class Isaiah Ash, Junior

Seaman First Class David Bacon, Senior

Seaman Second Class Henry W. Bailey

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Leonard Baker

Seaman Second Class David Barnes, Junior

Seaman Second Class Joseph Battle Seaman

Second Class Raphel O. Beasom

Seaman Second Class Silas Bell

Lieutenant Thomas L. Blackman

Seaman Second Class David E. Blackwell

Seaman Second Class Thimon Blaylock

Seaman First Class Johnnie C. Borders

Carpenters Mate First Class Petty Officer James H. Born

Seaman Second Class L.T. Bowden

Seaman Second Class Charles L. Boyce

Seaman Second Class Alvin Brewer, Junior

Seaman Second Class James Bridges

Seaman First Class Walter L. Brooks, Junior

Fireman First Class Petty Officer Johnnie L. Broome

Seaman First Class Ernest L. Burnett

Seaman First Class Wilbert Calvin

Seaman Second Class Lawrence L. Carlin

Seaman Second Class Robert A. Carter

Lieutenant, Junior Grade John B. Christenbury

Seaman Second Class Eddie L. Clark

Seaman First Class Eugene Coffee, Junior

Fireman First Class Petty Officer Bill Coleman

Seaman Second Class Enos Coley

Seaman Second Class Arthur A. Connor

Seaman Second Class Frank Cooley

Seaman Second Class Norman H. Craig

Seaman Second Class Eddie L. Cross

Seaman Second Class Jessie V. Crimp

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Seaman Second Class Horace Daniel, Senior

Seaman Second Class Huby Dansby

Seaman Second Class Floyd M. Davis

Seaman Second Class Henry J. Davis

Seaman Second Class Willie Davis

Seaman Second Class James L. Devaughn

Seaman Second Class Nathaniel Dixson

Seaman Second Class Rayfield D. Doyle

Seaman Second Class Herman Dunbar

Seaman Second Class Arthur L. Ebenezer

Fireman Second Class Petty Officer Dunton I. Edwards

Seaman First Class Herbert L. Edwards

Seaman Second Class Junice C. Ervin

Seaman Second Class Luther Eusery

Seaman Second Class Ananias Evans, Senior

Seaman Second Class Horace Evans

Seaman Second Class John H. Evans

Seaman Second Class William L. Evans

Seaman Second Class John B. Feliseret

Seaman Second Class Robert L. Ferguson

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Clarence S. Fields

Seaman Second Class Jessie Finney

Seaman Second Class Matthew Forkner, Junior

Seaman First Class Joseph R. Francis

Seaman Second Class Ford S. Franklin, Junior

Seaman Second Class Artie J. Frazier

Carpenters Mate First Class Petty Officer Elmer B. Froid

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Seaman First Class Gerard Gabriel

Seaman Second Class Bennie L. Gaines

Seaman Second Class Elgar Gant

Seaman First Class Coal Heaver John S. Gibson

Seaman Second Class Jethero Gilbert

Seaman First Class Samuel Glenn, Junior

Seaman First Class Lewis D. Goudblock

Seaman Second Class Harry L. Graham

Seaman First Class William H. Green

Seaman Second Class Ross B. Grinage

Seaman Second Class A.D. Hamilton

Seaman Second Class Ernest E. Hamilton

Seaman Second Class Emaral Hamm

Seaman Second Class George R. Hammond

Seaman Second Class John W. Hannan, Junior

Seaman Second Class Joe H. Hardaway

Seaman Second Class John L. Harding

Seaman Second Class B.C. Harris

Seaman Second Class Roscoe A. Harris

Seaman Second Class Phillip H. Harrison

Seaman Second Class Clifford Harvey, Junior

Seaman First Class George W. Hayes

Seaman Second Class D.C. Haywood

Seaman First Class Douglas L. Hector

Seaman First Class David L. Higginbotham

Seaman First Class Bobie R. Higgs

Seaman First Class Cluster Hill

Seaman Second Class Joseph Hills

Seaman Second Class Charles W. Hite

Seaman Second Class Sonar Man Rudolph V. Holden

Seaman Second Class Stanford Holley

Motor Machinist’s Mate Third Class Petty Officer, Temporary Edred L. Holmes Seaman Second Class Ernest M. Howard

Seaman Second Class Frank J. Howard

Seaman Second Class Earl H. Hudson

Seaman Second Class Glen Hughes

Seaman Second Class Leroy Hughes

Seaman Second Class Theodore L. Hughes

Seaman Second Class William Humphrey, Junior

Seaman Second Class Ross D. Hunt

Seaman Second Class Wave Hunt

Seaman Second Class Rudolph W. Hunter

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Carpenters Mate First Class Petty Officer, Temporary Leroy Ingram

Seaman First Class D.C. Jackson

Seaman Second Class James Jackson

Carpenters Mate Second Class Petty Officer James E.M. Jackson

Seaman First Class Levi R. Jackson

Seaman Second Class Paul E. Jackson

Seaman Second Class Robert A. Jackson, Junior

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Samuel Jackson, Junior

Seaman First Class Daniel L. Jamison

Seaman First Class Willie Jennings

Seaman Second Class Clarence Johnson

Seaman Second Class Earl T. Johnson

Seaman First Class Gabe Johnson

Seaman First Class Harold Johnson

Seaman Second Class Henry L. Johnson

Lieutenant, Junior Grade James B. Johnson

Seaman First Class Milton F. Johnson

Seaman First Class Daniel L. Jones

Seaman First Class Ivery L. Jones

Seaman First Class Henry Joseph, Junior

Seaman First Class Samuel Kearney

Seaman First Class Ships Cook Butcher Calvin King

Seaman Second Class Clifton King

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Seaman Second Class Verne Land

Seaman First Class Sidney J. LaPorte, Junior

Seaman First Class Willie Law, Junior

Seaman Second Class Cleo Lawson

Seaman Second Class Claudius W. Leslie

Seaman Second Class Sonar Man Aaron A. Lewis

Seaman Second Class T.C. Lewis

Seaman Second Class Lemuel M. Long

Seaman Second Class Robert Lyons

Seaman Second Class Beattie J. Makins

Seaman First Class, Carpenters Mate Rossell E. Martin

Seaman Second Class, Carpenters Mate Alonmo Martin

Seaman First Class Daniel Massie

Seaman First Class Lawrence Mathews, Junior

Seaman Second Class Charles A. Mayfield

Seaman First Class Mitchell McClam

Chief Carpenters Mate, Temporary Clarence K. McFarland

Seaman First Class Calvin Milton

Seaman Second Class Willis Mettles

Seaman First Class Ernest C. Miller

Motor Machinist’s Mate Third Class Petty Officer Ira Miller, Junior

Seaman Second Class Otis K. Miller

Seaman Second Class Marshall Moore, Senior

Carpenters Mate Second Class Petty Officer Thomas Moore

Seaman Second Class William P. Moore

Ensign Gilbert Mordoh

Seaman Second Class Eddie L. Neal

Seaman First Class James H. Nixon

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Seaman Second Class William H. Otky, Senior

Seaman Second Class Auguster Packer

Seaman First Class Ships Cook William F. Paschal

Seaman Second Class Robert F. Peete

Seaman Second Class Lester L. Perry

Seaman Second Class Joe H. Person

Seaman Second Class Alfred Phillips

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Charles Pickett

Seaman Second Class Houston Porter

Seaman Second Class McCoy Porter

Seaman Second Class David W. Potts

Signalman Third Class Petty Officer, Temporary Samuel H. Powell

Carpenters Mate Second Class Petty Officer Joe C. Preuitt

Seaman Second Class Arthur Reid, Junior

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer James E. Rhodes

Seaman Second Class Clyde F. Richardson

Seaman Second Class James A. Roberts

Seaman First Class Mango Roberts

Motor Machinist’s Mate Third Class Petty Officer Alphonse Robinson

Seaman Second Class Fred Robinson, Junior

Seaman First Class Eugene J. Rogers

Seaman Second Class Robert Sanders

Seaman Second Class Wesley Saunders

Lieutenant Roland Schindler

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Carl C. Scott

Lieutenant Vernon C. Shamer

Seaman First Class Joseph J. Sheckles

Seaman Second Class Willie Sims

Seaman First Class Isaac E. Smith

Seaman First Class James P. Smith

Seaman First Class Ellis Taylor

Seaman Second Class Joseph M. Tolson

Master at Arms Second Class Petty Officer Maxie D. Towles

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Seaman First Class, Carpenters Mate Mervin L. Van Dunk

Seaman First Class Issiah Wade

Seaman Second Class Charles Walker, Junior

Seaman Second Class Walter L.Walker, Junior

Seaman Second Class Woodrow L. Walker

Carpenters Mate Second Class Petty Officer, Temporary William C. Warren Seaman Second Class James L. Washington

Seaman Second Class Woodrow Washington, Junior

Carpenters Mate Third Class Petty Officer Daniel West

Lieutenant, Junior Grade Raymond R. White

Seaman First Class Joseph B. White

Seaman Second Class Arthur Whitmore

Seaman Second Class Mitchell A. Williams

Seaman Second Class Maryland E. Wilson

Gunners Mate Third Class Petty Officer Oliver Wilson

Seaman Second Class Samuel D. Wilson

Lieutenant Harold A. Wood

Seaman Second Class James E. Woods

Seaman Second Class Walter E. Wright

Seaman Second Class Charles E. Wyatt

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Seaman First Class Wayland E. Causey

Seaman First Class Rudy J. Cebella

Seaman First Class Robert E. Chase

Seaman Second Class Claude L. Chastain

Signalman Third Class Petty Officer John J. Gee

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ralph B. Hartmann

Seaman First Class Clarence R. Hollandsworth

Seaman First Class Kenneth H. Muirhead

Seaman First Class Jesse W. Mulligan

Seaman First Class Lloyd J. Quick

Seaman First Class Martin J. Setzer

Seaman First Class George H. Singer

Seaman First Class Listern L. Small

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Elmer A. Andraschko,  Cook

Albert A. Arsenian,  Seaman

William C. Benhart,  Oiler

Martin M. Cacic,  Seaman

Ray E. Davis,  Wiper

Donald L. Dennon,  Wiper

Thomas E. Dorsey,  Seaman

George H. Falk,  Bosun

Marcus J. Franklin,  Engineer

Alfred D. Gilbert,  Engineer

James R. Gilstrap,  Seaman

Joseph D. Grange,  Junior Engineer

Fred Hayes,  Seaman

Delbert R. Hutchinson,  Fireman

Peter C. Jepsen, Chief Engineer

Charles A. Johnson,  Utilityman

Clifford R. Johnson,  Utilityman

Ralph A. Lantz,  Seaman

John A. Louis,  Engineer

Frank C. Malizia,  Carpenter

Edward Maniago,  Messman

Harry E. Nathan,  Seaman

Jesse Porter, Senior,  Chief Cook

Richard D. Roberson,  Seaman

Aaron C. Sangster, Junior,  Seaman

Ellsworth M. Shaw,  Oiler

Howard A. Smith,  First Mate

Andrew Suchan,  Fireman

Robert F. Townsend,  Second Mate

Harding E. White,  Messman

George H. Witt,  Utilityman

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Gunners Mate Third Class Jack L. Albin

Gunners Mate Second Class Delbert P. Bergstrom

Seaman First Class Radio Man Jack P. Bowman

Gunners Mate Third Class John G. Hall

Seaman First Class George D. Hovland

Seaman First Class Andy Morrow

Gunners Mate Second Class William H. Mulryan

Seaman First Class Henry J. Myers

Seaman First Class Woodrow A. Riiff

Seaman First Class Jacob D. Risenhoover

Seaman First Class William R. Robinson

Seaman First Class Charles H. Rondell

Seaman First Class Jay Rose, Junior

Seaman First Class Otis K. Ross

Seaman First Class Woodrow W. Saint

Seaman First Class Arnold T. Sanders

Seaman First Class Harold S. Sano

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Robert D. Bailey,  Utilityman

Robert E. Bartlett,  Messman

John D. Bell,  Assistant Purser

Frederick E. Bentley,  Seaman

Donald H. Cheney,  Electrician

Hugh E. Crawford,  Maintenance Man

Floyd F. Crist,  Seaman

Albert C. Dinde,  Messman

Wallace M. Durland,  Seaman

Kenneth J. Eulrick,  Seaman

Burke E. Falor,  Utilityman

Eugene W. Garrett,  Fireman

Robert K. Henricksen, Seaman

Elis Henriksen,  Engineer

Johannes H. Justesen,  Steward

Walter F. Kannberg,  Engineer

Robert E. Keim,  Second Mate

Joseph B. Koeninger,  Seaman

Karl L. Mallery,  Engineer

Lloyd K. McDaniel,  Seaman

Kenneth M. Moen,  Third Mate

Robert S. Morill,  Oiler

Isadore E. Narinsky,  Seaman

Roy L. Nelson,  Carpenter

David R. Parsons,  Third Mate

Mike Pearson,  Oiler

Ellis B. Pinson,  Engineer

Richard V. Potter,  Fireman

Virgil R. Sandberg,  Engineer

Albert R. Scott,  Chief Mate

Lester S. Skance,  Seaman

Howard W. Sullivan,  Seaman

Robert J. Sullivan,  Master

Glen E. Thompson,  Engineer

Louis J. Widner,  Mess Man

John A. Williams,  Chief Engineer

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Lawrence C. Bustrack, Macco Company, Office Manager

Gundar Halverson, Macco Company, Timekeeper

Raymond V. Hunnicutt, Brakeman, Navy Employee

Thomas D. Hunt, Macco Company, Project Engineer

Harry A. Middleton, Engineman, Navy Employee

Fred Zanarini, Chauffeur, Navy Employee

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Private Elwin A. Blanke, Marine Corps

Boatswains Mate  Peter G. Broda, Coast Guard

Machinist Mate  William G. Degryce, Coast Guard

McMM3c  Edward J. Portz, Coast Guard

Seaman First Class Charles H. Riley, Coast Guard

Seaman Second Class  James C. Sullivan, Coast Guard

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TEXT: About Your Visit

The memorial is located on an active military base. Tours are by reservation; allow two weeks for your request to be processed. See park website for information on ID required for base access and firearms regulations. Service animals are welcome.

Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday at 10 am and 1:30 pm (allow 1½ hours for the tour). There is no public access on Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. The base may also be closed to the public due to military operations.

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IMAGE: Sea Scouts learning about the disaster


Sea Scouts learn about the World War II disaster. Pilings from the pier destroyed in the explosion extend into Suisun Bay.


National Park Service


Description text here

In this contempary color photo, three young uniformed men are standing with their backs to the camera looking down at a sepia-toned wayside exhibit panel at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial. At least two of the men appear to be Caucasian, with the other of unknown ethnicity. They are wearing black shoes and are dressed in Sea Scout military dress uniforms, consisting of dark blue or black pants and a dress jacket that includes a separate fabric panel extending down the back. Double white stripes forming a border around the panel and encircle the wrist cuffs. The bottom corners of the panel appear to be decorated with military pins. The men in the middle and on the right appear to have the number "22" emblasoned in white on their left shoulders along with some other insignia that indicates their station and rank. The panel and the men are situated on a concrete tile walkway, standing in front of the rock-covered shoreline of the freshwater Suisun Bay. Extending out into the water on both the left and right sides are the remnants of old wooden pilings - all that remains from the original pier before the explosion - surrounded by the brown muddy water of the Delta with a clear blue sky arching overhead.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

The park film is close captioned for easy reading. Our park vehicles are equipped with wheelchair lifts. The site itself is very level for all access, and all wayside exhibits are accessible. 

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For more information about our services, please ask a ranger, call, or check on our website.

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OVERVIEW: More information


Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
4202 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, CA  94553

Phone number:




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