Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Concord, CA 94520, United States

 

The National Memorial of the Port Chicago Naval Magazine is a memorial dedicated in 1994 that honors the dead of the Port Chicago tragedy and the vital role that Port Chicago, California played in serving as the Pacific Theater of Operations' main facility during World War II. The monument is located in the United States at the Concord Naval Weapons Station near Concord, California.

 

The Port Chicago tragedy of 1944 occurred at the naval magazine and during the Second World War resulted in the greatest domestic loss of life. On July 17, 1944, when the ships they had loaded with ammunition and bombs exploded, 320 sailors and civilians were killed instantly. African American sailors serving for the racially segregated military were the bulk of those killed. The explosion and its aftermath led to the largest Naval mutiny in US history, and after the war, it and the resulting trial were significant catalysts for the United States Navy to desegregate.

 

History

 

Public Law 102-562 approved the national memorial, operated by the National Park Service, on October 28, 1992. The memorial was dedicated in 1994 and is situated on the grounds of the Concord Military Ocean Terminal (MOTCO), formerly the Concord Naval Weapons Station's Tidal Field. The memorial is only available to the public by guided tours that are booked. The Memorial became an official National Park System entity on October 28, 2009.

 

Plans

 

The Port Chicago Committee is working to extend the new memorial to the old Port Chicago waterfront to cover 250 acres (1.0 km2). Any of the railroad revetments and old boxcars from the 1940s may be used in the memorial site, as well as the new memorial chapel, with stained-glass windows showing the operations of World War II.

 

Port Chicago Naval National Memorial

 

  • The project started in early 1993.

  • Awarded to Daniel Quan Design

  • Budget roughly $250k (close to $500k in today’s dollars)

  • Criteria for design: plain, dignified, and contemplative. As well as commemorative, it was to be interpretive.

  • Made of highly durable and weather-resistant materials, they are very low maintenance.

  • Accommodate small groups such as school classes, and gatherings up to 500.

  • Views around the site were intentionally left wide open so that the historic scene in 1944 could be better imagined by tourists.

  • The granite markers are oriented outward to the explosion site and the bay.
     

Concord, California is blessed with many interesting historical landmarks that are worth a visit:
 

  • Don Salvio Pacheco Adobe 

  • Concord Historical Society

  • Don Fernando Pacheco Adobe 

  • Site Of The Murder Of Dr. John Marsh

  • Galindo Home Museum & Gardens

  • Todos Santos Plaza

  • Markham Regional Arboretum

  • Newhall Community Park
     

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location located at 111 Arthur Road in Martinez, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!

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