Port Chicago Naval Magazine is a national memorial site that commemorates the lives of 320 men, many of whom were African-American. The explosion at Port Chicago in 1944 killed 320 sailors and civilians and injured 390 more. It was the worst disaster in American naval history to occur on home soil. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is one of the nation’s most significant historic sites. The memorial is located in Concord, California, and opened to the public on July 17th, 1997.
There were 534 casualties total from the disaster. In addition to those lost lives, the explosion also caused an estimated $6 million worth of damage which was significant for wartime. It’s believed that one of three things contributed to this incident: sabotage by errant Japanese Americans working nearby; mishandling or overloading munitions; or accidental ignition as a result of static electricity buildup.
This tragedy is now commemorated as one of the worst losses of life on American soil during World War II. For those who served through this time, it was an unforgettable experience that shaped their lives. The tragedy also led to significant changes in how we protect our military personnel from hazardous work conditions and today’s visitors can see how safety has improved for all workers with interactive exhibits and displays about wartime hazards like chemical warfare agents, asbestos exposure, radiation dangers, noise damage and more.
The Port Chicago Naval Magazine was originally built in 1942 to produce weapons and ammunition for America’s war effort. It was also a segregated unit, where African-Americans were normally assigned tasks considered too dangerous or demoralizing for white sailors.
What to expect when you get there:
- Uncover the story of the disaster that led to social change
- Become part of a memorial that honors those who lost their lives or were affected by this massive explosion
- Educate yourself about racial inequality in the military and how it affects our society today
The Port Chicago Naval Magazine is a memorial site that you should visit if you want to learn more about this historical event. 320 men were killed in an instant when two ships loaded with ammunition for the Pacific theater troops blew up on July 17, 1944, at Port Chicago Naval Magazine and it happened due to racial inequality within the military. This disaster led to social change through people’s desire for equality among all races–especially those who serve their country. It also influenced President Harry Truman’s decision to desegregate the US Armed Forces by 1948 (although segregation was not completely eliminated until 1954). Today, visitors can explore the remains of what used to be a busy naval base.
Walnut Creek, California is blessed to have some of the area’s most beautiful and fun playgrounds for kids. Here’s a short list of our favorites:
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord
- Pixieland Amusement Park
- Briones Regional Park
- Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
- Mount Diablo State Park
- The Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery
- Diablo Foothills Regional Park
- Shell Ridge Open Space
All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location located at 1261 Locust St #20 in Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!