The Port Chicago Mutiny: The Story of the Largest Mass Mutiny Trial in U.S. Naval History

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Heyday, 1989 - History - 198 pages
3 Reviews
Cultural Writing. History. During World War II, Port Chicago was a segregated naval munitions base on the outer shores of San Francisco Bay. Black seamen were required to load ammunition onto ships bound for the South Pacific under the watch of their white officers-an incredibly dangerous and physically challenging task. On July 17, 1944, an explosion rocked the base, killing 320 men-202 of whom were black ammunition loaders. In the ensuing weeks, white officers were given leave time and commended for heroic efforts, whereas 328 of the surviving black enlistees were sent to load ammunition on another ship. When they refused, fifty men were singled out and charged-and convicted-of mutiny. It was the largest mutiny trial in U.S. naval history. First published in 1989, THE PORT CHICAGO MUTINY is a thorough and riveting work of civil rights literature, and with a new preface and epilogue by the author emphasize the event's relevance today. More than a mutiny trial, the incident raises questions about the powers of the military, about the prosecution of civil disobedience, and about the rights of the individual.

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Review: Port Chicago Mutiny, The

User Review  - Goodreads

Account of the 1944 munition explosion in Port Chicago (northern CA) and the subsequent mutiny trial of 50 black soldiers who refused to return to work. Very interesting reading. Very dark period in our military history. Read full review

Review: Port Chicago Mutiny, The

User Review  - Goodreads

Another big deal in maritime history. This one involving civil rights. Its a story that should be told. Read full review


Chapter I A Day at Port Chicago
Chapter 2 The DayJuly 17 1944
Chapter 4 The Base and the Work
Chapter 5 The Explosion and After
Chapter 6The Work Stoppage
Chapter 9 Closing Arguments and Verdict
Chapter 11Conclusion
Appendix III A Note on Sources

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World War II
G. Kurt Piehler
Snippet view - 2007

About the author (1989)

Robert L. Allen is the author of The Port Chicago Mutiny (Amistad 1993) and co-editor of Brotherman (35,000 hc net), which won the American Book Award. Allen is a professor of African American and Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and is an editor of The Black Scholar. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

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