Port Chicago Naval Memorial: Honoring WWII's Largest Domestic Loss

Port Chicago Naval Magazine

National Memorial


Learn the story of the Port Chicago Naval Magazine explosions that resulted in the largest domestic loss of life during World War II—320 civilians and mostly African American sailors. They caused the largest naval mutiny in US history, and the subsequent trial led to desegregation of the US Navy.

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Explore the Park

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, located northeast of San Francisco, memorializes the Port Chicago disaster of World War II, which killed 320 sailors and led to the largest naval mutiny in US history. Constructed in 1942 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Port Chicago Naval Magazine was the largest ammunition transshipment facility on the West Coast and was essential to the success of the war effort in the Pacific Theater. On July 17, 1944, a munitions explosion killed 320 men and injured 400 more. Most victims were African American sailors serving in newly established, racially segregated work units—they were subjected to unequal treatment and had not received any training for the dangerous work of loading ammunition onto ships. More than 250 surviving sailors refused to return to work, protesting unsafe working conditions and racial discrimination. The efforts of these soldiers and the legacy of those who died contributed greatly to the desegregation of all the US armed forces.

Since our founding in 1938

WNPA has provided more than

$136 million

in aid to our partner parks to fund educational programs, initiatives, and scientific research

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist

Shop Online

Bring the Parks Home

When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.