In July 1944, Ollie Eaton Green was a Seaman First Class stationed at Port Chicago; he was 37 years old and a native of the Washington, D.C. area. As was the case for each of the Port Chicago 50, he testified in his own defense at the mutiny trial. (Tr. 326-348)
What follows is a summary of his sworn testimony.
In the July 17 explosion, Mr. Green suffered scars on his leg, around his eye, and through his chest from flying glass in the explosion; he was hospitalized in the Mare Island Hospital to receive treatment for his injuries for at least ten days.
On July 29, Mr. Green left Mare Island Hospital and was transferred to Vallejo, where he stayed in Upper C Barracks.
On August 8, 1944, Mr. Green broke his wrist. At the mutiny trial, the doctor’s sick call note attesting to the wrist fracture was entered into evidence. The doctor’s note stated that Mr. Green was to be on the sick list. The doctor told Mr. Green that his hand would not be well for about six weeks. His arm was in a sling during the mutiny trial.
On August 9, 1944, Mr. Green remained in the barracks and did not muster with the other men in his division. He later left the barracks because the officers ordered everyone out. Mr. Green went outside and saw the other men called into ranks and addressed by Lt. Delucchi. Mr. Green heard Lt. Delucchi say the men were “letting him down,” but he did not hear any order issued by Lt. Delucchi. The men were then marched to the recreation hall where they met with three officers including Chaplain Flowers. Mr. Green testified that Chaplain Flowers asked him if he was going to work and Mr. Green told him, “no sir.” Chaplain Flowers asked about Mr. Green’s hand, and Mr. Green told him it was “not so good.” After this, Mr. Green testified, the men were marched by the shore patrol to chow and then back to the barge where they were held.
On August 11, 1944, Mr. Green and the other men were marched from the barge to the ball diamond, where they were formed into a “U” formation and addressed by Admiral Wright. Mr. Green did not describe the Admiral’s address in his testimony, but he stated that after the Admiral spoke, Lt. Delucchi then told the men that “all who are willing to obey any kind of order that I give them will get to one side.” Mr. Green testified that he moved to the side that indicated that his response was “no”.
Mr. Green testified consistently on direct and cross examination that he did not receive an order to return to the work of loading ammunition. Mr. Green testified that he did not want to go back to loading ammunition, but he also testified that if he had received an order to do so, he would have returned to that task.
Q: Did Lieutenant Delucchi say, “I order you to go load ammunition”?
A: No, sir, Lieutenant Delucchi never gave me any order.
Q: Did anybody tell you, “I order you to go load ammunition”?
A: No, sir.
(Tr. 331.) At the end of his testimony, in response to the court’s question whether he had anything more to say, Mr. Green explained that he had “a couple of things to say, sir…The reason I was afraid to go down and load ammunition, them officers [were] racing each division to see who put on the most tonnage, and I knowed the way they was handling ammunition, it was liable to go off again…If we didn’t work fast enough at that time, they wanted to put us in the brig, and when the exec[utive officer] came down on the docks, they wanted us to slow up. That is exactly the way – put it on fast; if we didn’t put it on fast they want to put us in the brig. That is my reason for now going down there.” (Tr. 348)
Mr. Green was convicted of mutiny. He received a sentence of 15 years imprisonment. Along with the other members of the Port Chicago 50, he was incarcerated at Terminal Island near San Pedro by November 1944. His sentence was later commuted to three years.
The Task Force has not yet been able to learn very much about what happened to Mr. Green after the war ended.