Engraved 5 inch naval shell case : HMAS Anzac

Accession Number REL31406
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Brass
Location Main Bld: Peacekeeping & Recent Conflicts Gallery
Place made Italy
Date made December 1996
Conflict Iraq, 2003-2013

Brass, rimmed, straight walled 5 inch naval shell case with a partially bent rim. The shell has been pantograph engraved on one side with 'CAPT P G LOCKWOOD' followed by two columns with the names of the 175 members of Anzac's crew, listed in order of rank, and alphabetically within each rank. The other side has been engraved '9 of 46/ OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM/ OPERATION FALCONER/ HMAS ANZAC/ NAVAL GUNFIRE IN SUPPORT OF/ THE ASSAULT ON THE AL FAV (sic) PENINSULAR (sic)/ IRAQ/ BY 40 COMMANDO RM/ 21-23 MARCH 2003/ 7 MISSIONS/ 148 BATTERY/ HMS MALBOROUGH/ HMS CHATHAM/ HMS RICHMOND/ "GUNS UP, SHIP ON STATION READY FOR CALL FOR FIRE"'. The base of the shell case is impressed 'SMI LOT 02 12/96 5IN MKAN7 MODO'. One side of the case, near the base, has lightly dyed lettering 'CARTRIDGE 5IN/ 54 FSAC/ MK AN6 MOD O/ MEM 3286/ ADI 5/97 ALN 041', indicating that the empty case was filled in Australia by Australian Defence Industries in May 1997.

History / Summary

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac was deployed to the Gulf region in October 2002 as part of Operation Falconer, Australia’s contribution to the multinational force tasked with enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. On 21 March 2003 HMAS Anzac, under the command of Captain Peter Lockwood, began naval gunfire in support of the British-led 40 Commando Royal Marine assault on the Al Faw Peninsular in southern Iraq. Anzac engaged a number of targets including enemy bunkers, artillery positions and coastal defensive positions. After removing set targets Anzac continued to provide fire support to the Royal Marines as they fought their way to seize the township of Al Faw and the port of Umm Qasr. The day became known as ‘five inch Friday’ after the five inch high explosive shells which formed Anzac’s main armament. The assault lasted for three days and it was the first time that the Royal Australian Navy had engaged in combat naval gunfire support since the Vietnam War. This shell case is one of those fired during the assault and has been engraved with the names of HMAS Anzac’s crew.