• Unspeakable Times

Complete List of US Military Base Shootings

The July 2015 tragedies at two US military facilities in Chattanooga, TN, were just some in a long series of military base shootings across the US. Since WWII, such instances have taken place where soldiers went after their fellow soldiers, or civilians have attempted to enter restricted facilities, with disastrous results. Some tragedies occurred due to race issues, especially in the pre-Cold War segregated military. Others are acts of domestic terror, planned and carried out to inflict maximum damage.

But while what happened in Chattanooga looks to be the work of a radicalized convert to Islam, most of these incidences in the US have nothing to do with Islam, and instead, are the work of soldiers or contractors with undiagnosed mental trauma. Many of the shooters had completed multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some had been wounded - suffering blows to the head that might have contributed to their later offenses. And a few look to be crimes of passion or disgruntled former employees out for revenge. As in the civilian world, the motives ranging widely.

This is a list of the known tragedies that occurred on US military bases, including those at Army bases or Naval bases, since WWII.

  • Photo: US Army personnel / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Camp Shenango, 1942

    During WWII, tensions between Black and white soldiers often escalated. One of the worst of these incidents was at Camp Shenango, a replacement soldier training depot in Pennsylvania. On July 14, 1943, a dispute at the base's post office turned into an uproar, as Black soldiers stormed the armory to grab weapons and arm themselves.

    In the ensuing melee, a Black soldier was struck down by a white MP, and many other soldiers (the number isn't fully known) were harmed.

  • Photo: PFC Victor Tampone / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Phoenix Massacre, 1942

    In an incident generally known as the "Phoenix Massacre," Black soldiers of the 364th Infantry Regiment (an all-Black regiment) were fired on by Black MPs in Phoenix, AZ. At least three men, including a civilian on the base, were struck down, and as many as 11 others were harmed. 

  • Camp Van Dorn, 1943

    Camp Van Dorn in Mississippi saw tensions involving the 364th continue and culminate with a Black soldier struck down by the County Sheriff outside the base in July 1943. To this day, there continue to be rumors that the Army tried to cover up the detrimental extent of the incident.

  • Photo: United States Air Force / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Fort Dix, 1942

    Another incident that arose from tensions related to race took place at Fort Dix in New Jersey in 1942, when an argument between white and Black MPs over the use of a phone booth turned into a standoff that dispatched three men.