320 Americans Killed in WWII Naval Magazine Accident

On the evening of July 17, 1944, residents in the San Francisco east bay area were jolted awake by a massive explosion that cracked windows and lit up the night sky. At Port Chicago Naval Magazine, 320 men were instantly killed when two ships being loaded with ammunition for the Pacific theater troops blew up. It was WWII's worst home front disaster.


Foundation Document For Download

Foundation Document

The Foundation Document for Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is available for reading online or download.

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Trading Cards

Trading Cards!

Kids! Learn more about Port Chicago and other civil rights stories by collecting trading cards.

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Pier 1 after explosion, looking south

Port Chicago Naval Magazine NM Reservations

Tours are only available on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 1:30 PM. Access for tours is granted based on U.S. Army and NPS scheduling availability.

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Pier 1 after explosion, looking North

National Memorial and National Memory

On October 28, 2009, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial became the 392nd unit of the National Park Service.

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Memorial with flowers.

Naval Historical Center

For more information on the 1944 Port Chicago explosion, visit the on-line Naval Historical Center at www.history.navy.mil

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