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  • Joseph Small
  • Jack Crittenden
  • Freddie Meeks

Real Names: Freddie Meeks, Jack Crittendon, Joseph Small, other names unrevealed
Case: Appeal
Date: July 17, 1944
Location: Port Chicago, California

CaseEdit

Details: In July 1944, there was a massive explosion over two transport vessels loading ammunition at the Port Chicago Naval Base in California. The blast destroyed everything in a one mile radius including both ships, the pier and dock. 320 men on base were killed, with nearly 400 more injured. Many of these men were African-Americans. This incident almost completely destroyed Port Chicago, making it the worst home-front military disaster of World War II.
After the accident, a group of surviving enlistees refused to work loading munitions unless the safety of their working conditions could be promised. The Navy court-martialled 50 of these men and dishonorably discharged many of them, placing them in prison for a 15 year sentence. After the war was over, President Truman commuted their sentences, but many of those men want their names cleared for not wanting to work under dangerous circumstances. These men served their country with pride and honor during World War II, and deserve to be recognized for their contributions.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on September 18, 1992 on the series premiere of Final Appeal: From the Files of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Solved. In December of 1999, Freddie Meeks received a presidential pardon for the mutiny. However, the others were not pardoned because they had all died since then. Freddie Meeks died in 2003.
Links:


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