For the fourth consecutive year, the USS Midway Museum opened its doors to the Western Naval History Association (WNHA) to a naval history symposium. This WNHA is comprised of a wide array of published historians, researchers, war gamers, and naval affairs enthusiasts from around the world.
This year’s event featured not only live presentations in the education department’s classroom complex, but live streaming segments from the East Coast and Europe. Nearly 50 people attended the event aboard Midway in person while 120 participated virtually via the symposium’s live stream.
“Midway and the WNHA actually have many mutual interests, particularly in an academic study of naval history,” said Karl Zingheim, Midway’s historian who hosted the symposium. “We are also very interested in fostering closer relations with similar organizations via WNHA like the U.S. Naval Institute and the U.S. Naval War College, and with naval affairs experts from around the world.”
The symposium’s keynote speaker was prolific author and naval design authority Norman Friedman, who graciously agreed to travel to San Diego to make a live address and to attend the entire event. Another notable presenter was Alex Pocklington, whose YouTube handle, Drachinifel, is host to an internationally popular program on all matters of naval history. Retired Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski of the USS Iowa Museum in Long Beach presented the impressive vision they have for a grand parkway and upgraded exhibits for our neighbor to the north. Other presentations included a centennial commemoration of the Point Honda disaster that claimed seven destroyers ran upon the rocks on a foggy night.
“The Midway is proud to host such events, and we look forward to welcoming the WHNA again next year,” said Karl, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “Holding a high-profile gathering like this symposium aboard Midway permits historians and naval history enthusiasts to gather and advance their interests and craft with their peers. The addition of remote viewing now permits many of these goals to be shared with an even larger audience.”
The Midway Institute was generous to provide the presentation facilities to support the symposium as well as the technical expertise to ensure the hybrid program was managed flawlessly.
“Having the symposium aboard a large warship like the Midway also provides an ambiance of authenticity that cannot be attained at any shore facility,” said Karl. “It was also an opportunity for the presenters to examine a unique warship in person with their peers.”