Born: 1921, Ipswich.
Died: 17th August 1942; age: 21; at sea.
Missing: 29/06/1942 Western desert. Previously reported Missing whilst Prisoner of War now presumed Killed in Action whilst Prisoner of War.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 10553572.
Regiment: Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 5 Ordnance Store Coy.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Mr & Mrs A. Martin, of Ipswich.
17th August 1942
The MV Nino Bixio an Italian troop transport ship was torpedoed on Monday the 17th August 1942 at 16:33 hrs in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Sicily, by the British submarine HMS Turbulent.
The PoWs were divided alphabetically by surname: A–L aboard Sestriere and M–Z aboard Nino Bixio. At the time the Nino Bixio was carrying 3000 Prisoners of War captured in North Africa.
The Nino Bixio was hit by two torpedoes, the first detonated in the hold containing the prisoners killing a large number of men. The second hit the engine room, a third failed to detonate but badly damaged her rudder, disabling her steering. The casualties were taken up onto the deck and attended to by medical officers. The stricken Nino Bixio was towed by an escorting destroyer until it reached Navarino of southern Greece. There the dead were buried and the remaining POW’s were taken via Corinth, to a prisoner of war camp on the outskirts of Bari, Italy. Of the 3000 POW’s, 300 were killed including 117 New Zealanders. Eric is believed to have died onboard.