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45765th Anniversary Port Chicago Explosion 1000 - 1230 July 18

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    Jul 1 9:28 PM



      On the night of 17 July 1944, two transport vessels loading ammunition at the Port Chicago, California naval base were suddenly engulfed in a massive explosion. The blast destroyed everything within a one-mile radius, including the two ships, the pier and the dock. It killed 320 men on the base, and injured nearly 400 more. Also almost completely destroying the town of Port Chicago 1.5 miles away, it was the worst home-front military disaster of World War II.

      Now 65 years later, there is a commemoration memorial event at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial 1000 Saturday, July 18. Seating is limited to less than 200 and as of July 1, twenty places remain unreserved. If you are going to attend, call the National Park Service immediately, (925) 228 8860 x 26. Arrive early! Parking will be at the Military Ocean Terminal Concord at the north end of Port Chicago Highway and transportation to the site from the Terminal is by National Park Service mini-bus.
      The Pacific Merchant Marine Council will place a wreath at the memorial site.
      Members afterwards will have lunch together - possibly a picnic pot-luck - and those who can will continue on to the Eugene O'Neill Tao Home in Danville open Saturdays this summer. The playwright served in the Merchant Marine and memorabilia is in the home and his experiences are incorporated into some of his plays. Those going direct to the home should head to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Avenue (at Prospect Avenue), Danville. At 1000, 1100, 1300. and 1400. a National Park Service van will bring visitors up to and down from the O'Neill home. No reservations are needed on Saturdays this summer. For park information call (925) 838-0249. For information more... " http://www.eugeneoneill.org,  http://www.nps.gov/euon.
      Navy Leaguers and friends are welcome to join for the morning or make a day of it.
      Phelps Hobart, President
      Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
      (916) 739-6949