Sponsored Content
Stop With all the 9/11 Museum Hypersensitivity | Main | 250 Marines on Standby in Sicily for Emergency Evacuation of Libya Should the Country Descend Into Chaos and Slaughter
May 21, 2014

May 21, 1944

Saw this today on the twitter:

It was a Sunday afternoon a little after 3pm local time. An explosion aboard LST-353 moored at West Loch, Pearl Harbor set off a chain reaction of explosions and fires about other closely moored LSTs. It took 2 days of firefighting before the Navy got control of the catastrophe. Several LSTs moved or were moved to safety but others were abandoned and allowed to drift, spreading the fires.

163 dead, 396 wounded. The exact cause was not identified but the official inquiry determined that it was likely started by an exploding mortar round. It was also believed that a lack of training on how to handle mortar rounds was a factor.

Two months months later a similar munitions explosion at Port Chicago California resulted in 320 killed and 390 injured. Same conditions, the mostly black sailors had never received proper training on loading ammunition.

Not many people heard of the West Loch disaster because it was immediately classified (they were preparing for a major Marine invasion and OPSEC was mandatory). The incident was declassified and revealed to the public in 1960.


Boxcars in revetments at Port Chicago damaged by the blast

UPDATE: A couple of commenters mention the Port Chicago Mutiny that took place after the disaster. If you haven't read about it look it up, short version is several hundred men expressed concerns (understandably so) about continuing to load munitions in the same circumstances and and under the same officers. Some were persuaded by threat of court martial to continue the work, others were convicted in summary courts martial, with 50 of those being declared by the Navy as Mutineers. That story is worth your time, it wasn't my intent to go into it here but it is very relevant, and as Anna said " well that can stir up some controversy also."

digg this
posted by Dave In Texas at 06:51 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
MkY: "They're still sitting in the bucket four weeks lat ..."

nurse ratched, sea otter Awareness WEEK starts Sunday!: "Meow! ..."

Dr. Bone: "There are freezer-loads of new, whitetail bucks ru ..."

MkY: "No raccoons? Just not trashy enough. Be better. ..."

JT: " Still not bad out, breezy but not wind gusts Pos ..."

Aetius451AD Work Laptop: "Adventure! ..."

Skip : "Still not bad out, breezy but not wind gusts ..."

AZ deplorable moron: ""No, it's worse! They left a bag of zucchini!" Po ..."

CaptObvious: "Newsom's veto was not a moment of sanity, but cold ..."

Dr. Bone: "Good God Almighty! I want to take that Obama Whis ..."

This has happened in Wisconsin: "The big old oak out front is turning. Most leaves ..."

mindful webworker - not ready for Winter: "The big old oak out front is turning. Most leaves ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64