The Burns Philp liner MV Macdhui carried an Australian crew and traded between Sydney, Papua and New Guinea during the 1930's. Macdhui also evacuated women and children from Rabaul in New Britain just ahead of the Japanese occupation. During the war the ship was taken over by the Australian Government and used to transport troops and supplies for the defence of New Guinea. Japanese aircraft attacked the Macdhui at Port Moresby on 17 June 1942 while members of the 39th Battalion unloaded aviation fuel from her hold. The ship suffered a direct hit that killed four men. The next day the Japanese bombers returned. This time the bombs destroyed the ship's steering gear and when fierce fires broke out the ship's Master ordered the crew to abandon ship.