The essays below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the mission and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.
Scientists will explore sunken aircraft associated with the Battle of Midway adding an important maritime heritage component to our understanding of the broader history of World War II in the Pacific. This year is the 75th anniversary of this significant event and this project aims to raise awareness and honor the legacy of the brave men who helped to turn the tide in the Pacific during the course of the Battle of Midway.Read more
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and in particular Midway Atoll, became a potential commodity in the mid-19th century. Captain William Reynolds of the USS Lackawanna took formal possession of Midway Atoll for the United States in August 1867.Read more
When the team of maritime archaeologists heads to Midway Atoll in May, they will work alongside a team of biologists who will be looking to understand the way that sunken aircraft (and shipwreck) sites create a habitat for alien invasive species in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.Read more
Our main tool for documenting known sunken aircraft and any new discoveries during this expedition will be photogrammetry, which is a method of measuring distances between objects from photographs. These measurements and distances can produce three-dimensional imagery of models of sunken aircraft from the Battle of Midway.Read more
At Midway Atoll, the shapes that the coral grow into often obscure and distort the imagery returned from side scan sonar. In these types of marine environments, looking for the ferrous, or iron, material is the best way to locate the cultural or man-made material. For this, we need a marine magnetometer.Read more
Scientists have collected dozens of first-hand observations about aircraft wreck locations at Midway Atoll (in addition to aircraft loss locations based upon archival research). Based on discoveries made in 2014 and 2015 of sunken aircraft within Midway’s waters, we have a large degree of confidence in the locational accuracy of historical accounts of aircraft losses.Read more