Coalition Urges President Obama to Exonerate Port Chicago Sailors

Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial

A broad coalition of veterans, religious, civil rights and political groups is calling on President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to exonerate the 50 black sailors convicted of mutiny 71 years ago following the explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine.

The diverse coalition is seeking justice for the men whose conviction and imprisonment following the disaster – the worst lost of life on the Homefront during World War II – helped pave the way for the desegregation of the military by President Truman.

The signatories note the President’s broad powers to exonerate those accused unjustly, and pointed to his recent decisions to grant of clemency, as well as other actions to reverse past military convictions in which race played a significant role, as it did at Port Chicago.  “We plead for your intervention to provide justice to the 50 black sailors, justice that was denied them in…

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