A small but significant anniversary occurred on Thursday: the 67th anniversary of the sinking of the MV Macdhui by Japanese bombs on 18 June 1942.
The wreck of the Macdhui in the waters off Port Moresby Technical College
4630 tonnes, built in Glascow
Macdhui then serviced the Sydney-Rabaul route with accommodation for 167 first-class passengers.
With the onset of World War II, she
was used to evacuate civilians from New Guinea
On 17 June 1942, Macdhui was attacked by Japanese bombers while discharging cargo to
lighters in Moresby
The next morning at 10.45 there was an air-raid warning and Macdhui moved into the harbour and began manoeuvring. Soon after she took a direct hit and then three more. The captain headed towards shallow water where Macdhui keeled over on a reef. Ten of the 77 crew and five Australian gunners from the 39th Battalion were killed.
The sinking was filmed from a nearby hilltop by Australian cameraman, Damien Parer.
The loss of the Macdhui was a great blow to the morale of the Australian troops in Port Moresby
The wreck is now deeply pitted and corroded under the waterline. It is gradually breaking up but even if it does slip completely under the surface, part of the Macdhui will remain. In the late 1960s the mast was removed and stands outside the Royal Papua Yacht Club as a memorial to those who died.
And one of the ship’s bells was erected
in the tower of St John's
Abstracted from a story in the PNG National
Source: Abstracted from a story in the PNG National