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Billy Minter

Male 1925 - 1943  (~ 18 years)


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  • Name Billy Minter 
    Born Sep 1925  Woolwich RD Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    _UID 67445A94A19A41A69CE8109DAE84C169483E 
    Died 2 Dec 1943  Bari, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • Billy Minter died aged 18 on 2 Dec 1943 while serving in the Merchant Navy as an Assistant Steward on the SS Fort Athabaska (London). He is remembered on Panel 19 of the Tower Hill Memorial.

      The ship on which Billy Minter was serving was one of those caught in the German air raid on the Italian port of Bari. There are many accounts of this on the Web - the following is an extract from one of them. In addition to those killed as a direct result of the raid, many people died or were injured because one of the American ships in the harbour was loaded with mustard gas which was blown up and dispersed over the whole area. This particular aspect of the raid was covered up by the US and British authorities for many years after the war.

      "One of the less fortunate ships was the British freighter
      Fort Athabaska which was anchored close by the American
      merchant ship Joseph Wheeler. The Fort Athabaska was
      loaded for departure to North Africa, carrying seventy-six
      tons of general cargo, 238 bags of ordinary mail for Algiers,
      and two captured thousand-pound German rocket bombs.
      When the Joseph Wheeler exploded, the Fort Athabaska
      caught fire and, despite the heroic efforts of the British crew,
      the German rocket bombs stowed in number two hold be-
      tween decks were detonated by the extreme heat and flames,
      reducing the British ship to a shattered hulk. Of the total
      complement aboard of fifty-six, there were only ten survivors."

      From England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 at Ancestry.com:
      Minter Billy of 26 Kings Highway Plumstead Kent died on or since 2 December 1943 at sea Administration Llandudno 28 September 1944 to Rena Minter (wife of Walter William Minter). Effects £198 13s 10d.
    Person ID I87  Lambeth, London
    Last Modified 31 Jan 2013 

    Father Walter William Minter,   b. 28 May 1895, Greenwich, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1977, Sittingbourne, Kent Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Rena LITTLEFIELD,   b. Abt 1895, Poplar, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jun 1958, Royal Marsden Hospital, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW3 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 63 years) 
    Married Sep 1922  Woolwich RD Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F30  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 2 Dec 1943 - Bari, Italy Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Billy Minter 1925 - 1943
    Billy Minter 1925 - 1943
    Panel 1 of two panels on the Tower Hill Memorial dedicated to those who died on the SS Fort Athabaska which was caught in the German air raid on the Italian port of Bari on 2 December 1943.
    The memorial was photographed by Christine Small in March 2017; this version was copied from http://www.benjidog.co.uk.

  • Sources 
    1. [S5] BMD index (Reliability: 3).
      Q3 1925 Woolwich 1d/1769.

    2. [S8] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Reliability: 3).
      Died aged 18 on 2 Dec 1943 while serving in the Merchant Navy as an Assistant Steward on the SS Fort Athabaska (London). Remembered on Panel 19 of the Tower Hill Memorial.

    3. [S5] BMD index (Reliability: 3).
      Q3 1922 Woolwich 1d/2640.