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341.9' x 51.2' x 22.1'
Parer June 18, 1942
5th AF Dec 5, 1942
8th PRS June 18, 1942
Frances Lasker 1947
Andrew Wright 1994
Justin Taylan 2000
Justin Taylan 2005
MacDhui provided Burns Philp Company passenger and cargo service between Sydney Harbor and New Guinea. The vessel had 167 first class passenger accommodations.
On June 20, 1931 between Madang and Lae a fire broke out, and the passengers were safely taken ashore in lifeboats. MacDhui was safely towed to Salamaua by MV Neptuna. After temporary repairs at Salamaua, MacDhui returned to Sydney Harbor for six weeks of repairs.
MacDhui operated regularly between Sydney Harbor and Port Moresby transporting supplies and troops. On April 12, 1942 evacuees from New Britain transported aboard the MV Laurabada to Port Moresby boarded the MacDhui and were transported to Townsville.
During May 31 - June 1, 1942 delayed at Sydney Harbor due to the Japanese Midget submarines attack. On June 6, 1942 joined a convoy on June 6, 1942 to Townsville with cargo of aviation fuel. At Townsville, 154 Australian soldiers were taken aboard, then she departed for Port Moresby, arriving on June 15th at 5:00pm at Fairfax Harbor.
On June 18, 1942 the Japanese returned to bomb Port Moresby with twenty-seven G4M1 Betty bombers from the 4th Kokutai led by Lt Renpei Egawa, that departed from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul. Later on August 7, 1942 Egawa lead the first Japanese air raid against Guadalcanal.
The bombers targeted MacDhui and captain Campbell again tried to avoid the bombs by maneuvering in Fairfax Harbor. This time, MacDhui was hit directly amidships, and lost rudder control. She hit a coral reef in the central of the harbor, and rolled on her side sinking near Hanubada village. The crew took to lifeboats and although shaken, made it to shore safely. The dramatic sinking was captured on a black and white cine film and photographs taken Australian correspondent Damien Parer from a nearby hilltop.
The main mast was salvaged in the 1960s and is the flag mast for the Papuan Yacht Club.
During the war, the ship's bell was salvaged and used by RAAF Air Sea Rescue marine section. After the war, it was donated to St. John's Church at Ela Beach.
In 1970, Dave and Barry May acquired the salvage rights, and attempted to blast the propeller, causing an oil leak.
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