THE SCENE: THE LOADING DOCKS OF THE AMMUNITION DEPOT
The cargo hold of a ship, set beside the dock, is open and being loaded. A platoon of 13 men is loading the ship, including African American Seaman Apprentices (SAPs) ELLER, OLIVER, SOUBLET, POWELL, CANNON and SAPs 1-3, LT. BUCK SCHINDLER, Chief Petty Officer (CHIEF) 1 and 2 and Petty Officer First Class (POFC) 1 and 2.
Half the men are in a squad under the direction of a petty officer to take the material from the boxcar and put it in the gear being used for hoisting. The other squad, under the direction of a second petty officer, is in the hold to receive the material and stow it. Two or more boxcars can be seen, along with at least one forklift and crane-like pulley apparatus.
"The pier had three tracks, and at each edge, a loading platform 18 feet wide at the height of the boxcar floor. Cars were spotted opposite the holds into which the material was to be loaded. The center track was used for switching. Occasionally when one car was empty, in order to prevent disrupting the loading of all the hatches, cars were spotted opposite a hatch on the center track and material handled through the empty car adjacent to a hatch. The physical limitations of the pier prevented any unnecessary concentration of explosives on the pier. When loading two ships simultaneously, there was considerable crowding and congestion on the pier."
Throughout the scene there are many instances of "rough handling." RICHARD, BOB WHITE and FRANK SORVER are standing to the side, observing.
In the background, a group of SAPs can be seen marching to the dock to the beat of background music in 'clomp, clomp, clomp' fashion. “At the Docks” begins.