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  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
  • By Steve Sheinkin
  •  Before WWII, many African-Americans enlisted in the army to fight. The army was segregated and all they could do to help the war effort is load ammunition or be a mess servant. People like Joseph “Joe” Small, Percy Robinson, Robert Routh, and Spencer Sikes were assigned to load ammunition at Port Chicago.
  • Welcome to Port Chicago. You will be loading ammunition onto war ships. Be careful, this stuff can explode if you drop it.
  • kapow
  • Ahhhhhh! The ammunition, it exploded!
  • I'm not loading ammo anymore after this!
  • Column Left
  • Nobody follows the "Column Left" order because they are afraid of loading ammunition, so the officers accuse the men of mutiny.
  • The accused mutineers were then moved to a prison barge to await their trial.
  • The court trial was held on September 14, 1944 in a barracks room with the furniture moved out.
  • The Port Chicago 50 lost the trial, with the judges being Naval Officers, and were accused of mutiny with a 15 year sentence.
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