Examines the biggest home front disaster of World War II - the explosion of the Port Chicago ammunition depot near San Francisco, on July 17, 1944. Of the 300 men killed, 202 were black - a staggering 15 percent of the war's black casualties. Traumatized by the explosion and its aftermath, 50 ammunitions loaders - all of whom were black - refused to return to work considered too dangerous for white sailors. They were court-martialed and convicted of mutiny and imprisoned until the end of the war. Their plight outraged blacks and white liberals, including a young NAACP lawyer named Thurgood Marshall who led an unsuccessful campaign to get their conviction overturned.