On the night of July 17, 1944, two horrific explosions at Port Chicago Naval Magazine killed 320 men, 202 of whom were African American stevedores. Immediately following the disaster, white officers were granted leave, but the surviving 328 African American enlistees were ordered to load ammunition on another ship. The stevedores refused, citing a lack of training and poor safety standards. Fifty men were charged with mutiny, and the court-martial took place at Treasure Island. Though the outcome of the trial was grim, it eventually became the touchstone for the complete desegregation of the United States Armed Forces.
This exhibit tells the story of the explosions, the trial, and their impact.
Wish You Were Here!
Postcards from the GGIE
Take a trip to the 1939 and 1940 GGIE through a collection of postcards and memorabilia from the fair. The exhibition features postcards from the collections of the Treasure Island Museum, and the collection of guest curator Kathryn Ayres, vice president of the San Francisco Bay Area Post Card Club.