8 Dec 1942

United States
  • Liberty ship David J. Brewer became the first ship to dock at Port Chicago, California, United States at about 1200 hours. Upon learning that the stevedores were all African-American, the ship's Caucasian captain refused to let dock workers board his ship. ww2dbase [Port Chicago, California | CPC]
9 Dec 1942

United States
  • The Caucasian captain of Liberty ship David J. Brewer reluctantly agreed to allow African-American stevedores to load ordnance onto his ship at Port Chicago, California, United States. ww2dbase [Port Chicago, California | CPC]
25 Oct 1943

United States
  • Liberty Ship Sidney Lanier departed Port Chicago, California, United States at 1320 hours. ww2dbase [Port Chicago, California | CPC]
17 Jul 1944

United States
  • The Liberty ship A. E. Bryan exploded whilst loading ammunition and explosives at Port Chicago, California, United States, taking with her the Victory ship Quinalt Victory berthed nearby. Ninety-seven men on the two ships were vapourised and even a 12 ton locomotive on the dockside vanished without trace. In total, 320 men were killed and 390 injured. More than 200 of the dead were black sailors being used as loaders. Later many sailors refused to work until safety was improved. Fifty were court martialed, convicted of mutiny and jailed. A public outcry led to their release but they were still deprived of all veteran's benefits for the rest of their lives. The last surviving "mutineer" Freddy Meeks was finally pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Four years later he died, aged 83. ww2dbase [Port Chicago Naval Munitions Explosion | Port Chicago, California | AC]
18 Jul 1944

Photo(s) dated 18 Jul 1944
Buildings flattened by the munitions explosion at Port Chicago, California, United States, 17 Jul 1944. 18 Jul 1944 photo.Dockside facilities and automobiles demolished by the munitions explosion at Port Chicago, California, United States, 17 Jul 1944. 18 Jul 1944 photo.Railroad cars laden with munitions in a revetment at Port Chicago, California, United States damaged by a massive explosion the night before, 18 Jul 1944.View from the demolished pier looking toward shore and more flattened buildings following a munitions explosion at Port Chicago, California, United States, 17 Jul 1944. 18 Jul 1944 photo.
See all photos dated 18 Jul 1944
30 Aug 1944

Photo(s) dated 30 Aug 1944
Diagram taken from the Navy report showing the ships and pier at the center of the Port Chicago munitions explosion, 17 Jul 1944. Note that the tonnages listed are as of 6 hours prior to the explosion.
26 Oct 1944

Photo(s) dated 26 Oct 1944
Rear Admiral Carlton H. Wright pinning the Navy and Marine Corps Medal on Seaman 1st-class James A. Camper, Jr. for heroism displayed following the Port Chicago munitions explosion 17 Jul 1944. 26 Oct 1944 photo.

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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