Synopsis by Rovi
This made-for-television docudrama that aired on March 28, 1999 on NBC, relates the story of an actual event that occurred during World War II, but is centered around the lives of fictional characters. On July 17, 1944 at a U.S. naval base near San Francisco, a ship exploded causing the deaths of 323 men and injuring another 390. Just over 200 of the dead and another 200 of the injured were African-American Navy personnel. The story begins with the events that led up to the tragedy, with the second half of the film describing the actions of the men who refused to report back to work the next day after the explosion. Initially, 250 of the men refused to return, fearing another catastrophe. When base officers threatened to charge them with mutiny, 200 returned to work. The 50 who refused to return were given dishonorable discharges, in addition to 15 years of hard labor from the mutiny convictions. Eventually, the sentences were reduced to 4 years, but no official governmental acknowledgment of wrongdoing has ever been made.
disaster, explosion, mutiny, ship, television