Many of the USS Midway Museum’s volunteers are the faces of the ship, engaging directly with guests and telling stories about adventures on the high seas. But those volunteers who work mostly behind the scenes are equally responsible for the ship’s continuing success.

“Ensuring the museum is operating smoothly and that all our aircraft, exhibits and displays are ready to go for our guests is a big reason behind why Midway is the best naval ship museum,” said Walt Loftus, Midway’s airwing director. “Our volunteers that work quietly in the background are just as important to the museum as those who connect with our visitors.”

We tip our caps to our Volunteers of the Month for the fourth quarter of 2023. 

Bill Beacom, Exhibits, Docent & Safety – October 2024

One of Midway’s longest serving volunteers, Bill Beacom has left his fingerprints on just about every department on the ship. Joining the Midway volunteer corps in 2005, he currently shares his time and talents with the docent, safety and exhibits teams, but has also volunteered with the airwing, education and IT departments in the past.

A humble and enthusiastic contributor to the museum, Bill, who has more than 6,600 volunteer hours, is always a friendly face and has jumped in to support the museum in a variety of ways.

“Bill is always positive and willing to do what it takes to help the museum,” said Jim Reily, Midway’s docent director. “He has long been one of Midway’s most valuable volunteers.”

A graduate of the University of Toledo, military background for Bill is connected to his four-year association with Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. His more than 30-year civilian career focused on computer systems programming and systems analysis, most notably with IBM.

“He’s a great choice for the volunteer of the month award,” said Bill Coleman, Midway’s exhibits manager. “We’re very lucky to have Bill as part of the Midway crew.”

“Bill is just a great all-around member of the Midway family,” said fellow docent Robert Johnson. “I’m proud to serve with him at the museum.”

Doug Sanders, Safety – November 2024

Doug Sanders loves being on Midway. He is consistently at the top of the leader boards in volunteer hours, averaging 20 volunteer days a month. He has become the go-to guy for every safety team he works on, and is well known for arriving early and taking care of setting up positions before he is scheduled. 

Amassing more than 3,200 volunteer hours since becoming a member of the Midway family in 2020, Doug bring outstanding leadership and passion to the museum. He doesn’t hesitate to assist other safety team members directly when they need help. Tackling every assigned task with a can-do attitude, he is relied on to get the job done right the first time, every time. 

“His ability to work seamlessly with any and all teams is a credit to his work ethic and calming demeanor,” said Dominick Boccia, Midway’s director of safety. “I have personally seen Doug cleaning up the flight deck on his own in the early morning hours after an evening event.  He always goes above and beyond what is expected.”

When not standing a safety watch, Doug is also part of the museum’s fire extinguisher inspection team and conducts monthly inspections throughout the ship.

Doug served as a military policeman in the Marine Corps for eight years, and spent more than three decades as a deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff’s office after leaving the service.

For those interested in becoming a USS Midway Museum volunteer, more information along with the volunteer application can be found www.midway.org/give-join/volunteers

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