The Port Chicago Disaster

The aftermath of the Port Chicago disaster. Public domain

This was the worst stateside disaster in the United States during World War II. Apart from being a horrific tragedy, the disaster itself and its aftermath were threaded through with racism and injustice.

Tracy's Research:

  • Allen, Robert L. “Black Scholar Research Leads to Navy Review: Injustice Upheld in Port Chicago Mutiny Trial.” The Black Scholar, Vol. 24, No. 1, Black Cultural History - 1994 (Winter 1994).
  • Allen, Robert L. “From Disaster to Desegregation.” Naval History, vol. 29, no. 1, Feb. 2015, p. 16. EBSCOhost,
  • Allen, Robert L. “The Port Chicago Disaster And Its Aftermath.” The Black Scholar, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, THE PORT CHICAGO DISASTER: Was It ANuclear Explosion? (Spring 1982). Via JSTOR.
  • Allen, Robert L. “The Port Chicago Mutiny: The Story of the Largest Mass Mutiny Trial in U.S. Naval History.” Warner Books. 1989.
  • Bergman, Barry. “War, ‘mutiny’ and civil rights: Remembering Port Chicago.” Berkeley News. 7/10/2014.
  • Buell, Erica. “Port Chicago.” Submarine Force Museum. 2/23/2018.
  • Collison, Dan. “The Port Chicago 50.” This American Life episode “The Job That Takes Over Your Life.” 9/17/2007.
  • Doss, Erika. “Commemorating the Port Chicago Naval Magazine Disaster of 1944: Remembering the Racial Injustices of the ‘Good War’ in Contemporary America.” American Studies Journal. No. 59. 2015.
  • Glaberson, William. “Sailor From Mutiny in '44 Wins a Presidential Pardon.” New York Times. 12/24/1999.
  • Johnson, Chalis. “A Sailor’s Soliloquy: Justice Denied at Port Chicago. “The Black Scholar, Vol. 24, No. 3, THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA (Summer 1994). Via JSTOR.
  • Long Haul Productions. “The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History.”
  • Naval History and Heritage Command. “Port Chicago Naval Magazine Explosion, 1944.” Adapted from Adapted from: National Park Service. "Port Chicago Naval Magazine." Washington: Government Printing Office.
  • Parsons, W.S. “William S. Parsons, Memorandum on Port Chicago Disaster.” 7/24/1944. Naval History and Heritage Command.
  • Smith, Morgan, executive producer. “Documentary: Into Forgetfulness.” Written by Doug McMains. 2012.
  • Vogel, Peter. “Last Wave from Port Chicago.” The Black Scholar, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, THE PORT CHICAGO DISASTER: Was It A Nuclear Explosion? (Spring 1982). Via JSTOR.
  • Wollenberg, Charles. “Blacks vs. Navy Blue.” California History, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Spring, 1979). Via JSTOR.

Topics in this Podcast: U.S. history, black history, conspiracy theories, disasters, explosions, 20th century, military history, segregation, civil rights, racism, World War II