An experimental investigation addressing the transient axisymmetric response of a finite length cylindrical shell with a base plate and internal fluid loading is presented. The configuration consists of a steel cylindrical shell with a circular base plate welded to one end. The shell and base plate contain an internal volume of water with a free surface. Data are presented for the special case of an axisymmetric transient excitation due to a force impulse hammer acting on the base plate. The in-vacuo and fluid-loaded response of the shell and base plate measured with an accelerometer will be presented and compared with numerical results. Transient field point pressure measurements taken with a hydrophone will also be presented and compared with numerical results. The agreement between experiment and numerical results is noted to be excellent.