Ahead of Anzac Day, the Australian National Maritime Museum has received several pieces of naval wartime history.
The objects are from a covert World War II sea mission known as Operation Jaywick—and they've been acquired with support from our National Cultural Heritage Account and the generosity of the family of Lieutenant Ted Carse who led the mission.
The items which tell the story of the successful secret operation are: a fake Japanese flag used to disguise the ship, a knife used during the raid and medals awarded to Lieutenant Carse.
Under the cover of darkness one September night in 1943, six brave Australian commandos sailed deep into enemy territory dressed as Malay fishermen aboard the MV Krait, a Japanese-built fishing vessel flying the Australian-made fake Japanese flag.
They then used folding canoes to paddle closer to attach magnetic limpet mines to the hulls of seven ships and fled undetected. Early the next morning, the explosions shattered the darkness and 6 Japanese ships were sunk or severely damaged. It was a significant blow to Japanese confidence and morale and was one of Australia's most successful maritime missions during WWII.
The MV Krait has been restored and is on display at the Maritime Museum, which has one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world. It's on permanent loan from the Australian War Memorial.
Through our National Cultural Heritage Account we help to retain and protect Australia's cultural heritage for future generations and provide public access to important objects that tell a story about our cultural identity.