Today, I visited the Port Chicago Memorial. I will do a more in-depth post on Crasstalk. In the meantime, here are the photos I took. Because the memorial is on a navy and an army base, we were not allowed to take a lot of photos.
The Cliffs Notes version of the memorial goes like this-- Hundreds of African-American seamen were loading munitions during World War II when everything blew up. The explosion was so big, atomic scientists actually came up from New Mexico to inspect the scene because it was comparable to a small atomic explosion.
The men were on the pier, loading explosives onto a 440-foot Liberty ship and an adjacent 440-foot Victory ship.
One ship was completely vaporized. The other ship was torn apart and thrown over 500 yards away. Here is a piece of the second ship.
We were a group of 11. Many were WWII veterans. One old-timer told me he used to work with these. I asked what their range was. He said 27 miles!
The train loading system was complex and awesome, but we were not allowed to take any photos, other than from this location at this angle. Artificial hills were built on either side of the tracks to minimize damage in case of an explosion/accident or an aerial attack.
Those copper rods are to minimize static electricity.