Bombing of M.V. Macdhui

The bombing of the Macdhui was filmed by Australian photographer Damien Parer. If you have read Forgotten Fleet 2 you may know that Damien’s cousin Ray Parer served with the Small Ships Section. Ray had previously served with the Royal Flying Corps in the Great War.

After a spell in the RAAF camp, Don began the trip back to Townsville on the Swartenhondt. The Captain of which tried to send the passengers below, which caused ‘a hell of a blue’, and they remained on deck all the way.

After returning to New Guinea on a few more vessels including the troopship Duntroon and the hospital ship Manunda, Don signed a contract at the Grace Building Sydney with the U.S. Army. An experienced crew was required for a large concrete ship, USAT C. W. Pasley; which had just returned from New Guinea loaded with deceased. By the time she was cleaned, dry docked and loaded, the war was almost over.

Don sailed Charles W. Pasley to Borneo then the Philippines before leaving Palawan loaded with 4,500t of bombs returning to the U.S. via Japan. Heading through the China Sea, C. W. Pasley was hit by a typhoon. With the rudder lost, the propeller shaft bent and the ship rolling to 45 degrees in 300km winds, the bombs began to break loose in the hatches. The ship was abandoned, and recovered weeks later for repair. Don never made it to the U.S. and returned home January 1947.

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