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National park tips: Here’s the site of the worst home-front disaster of WWII

This spot, 30 miles north of San Francisco, was the site of the deadliest home-front disaster of World War II -- an accidental explosion that cost 320 lives and helped force desegregation of the U.S. military.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Getting to Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial takes some doing. It’s on a military base 30 miles north of San Francisco, surrounded by ho-hum scenery. So it’s no surprise that the place had fewer than 1,000 visitors in 2015. But it must be remembered.

It’s where the worst home-front disaster of World War II took place in 1944, costing 320 lives and helping to force the desegregation of the U.S. military.

What happened? Read all about it at the park service site or in an article I wrote after it became part of the park system in 2010.

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

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Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.

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