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Marking the site of the worst stateside disaster of World War II, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument highlights a tragedy that should never be forgotten. On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion shook the sky and shattered windows on the coast of California just north of San Francisco. Two ships being loaded with ammunition to fight in the Pacific theater blew up at Port Chicago Naval Magazine, instantly killing 320 sailors and civilians and wounding almost 400 more. The explosion could be heard all the way to Nevada.
Many of the dead were African-American soldiers. The resulting aftermath, mutiny, and trial led to the desegregation of the U.S. Navy after the war. The Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument is dedicated to the memory of this tragic event and to the important role played by Port Chicago during World War II. Pay your respects at this solemn waterfront site, which located at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Concord.