75 years ago during World War II, a deadly disaster hit when sailors, most of them African Americans, were loading ammunition onto ships at California’s Port Chicago. 320 men were killed and while the white officers were given leave time and commended for heroic efforts, 328 of the surviving black enlistees were sent to load ammunition on another ship. When they refused, fifty men were charge and convicted of mutiny. It was the largest mutiny trial in U.S. naval history, and an early spark in the Civil Rights struggle.
Port Chicago disaster survivors, now deceased: Albert Williams Jr. Robert Routh, Jr., Joseph R. Randolph Small, Sr., Freddie Meeks, Percy Robinson, and reenactments of the words of Thurgood Marshall and Professor Robert Allen.
Episode Producer and Host: Theresa Adams
Recordings by Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister at Long Haul Productions from their radio feature, “The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History”.
Script Editing: Cheryl Devall
Co-Producer and Executive Director: Lisa Rudman
Audio Sweetening: Anita Johnson
Steve Grevious and Rod Akil for re-enactment voices
Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani
Audience Engagement Manager: Sabine Blaizin