MMS
MOTOR MINE SWEEPERS 1 to 44

Numbers:
MMS 1, MMS 8, MMS 15, MMS 16, MMS 19, MMS 25, MMS 26, MMS 39, MMS 40, MMS 41, MMS 44.


Motor Minesweeper were purpose built, wooden, shallow draft, minesweepers with both SA and LL sweeping capabilities. SA is Sweep Acoustic, a device similar to a Kanga Hammer which makes a loud thumping noise which exploded the acoustic mine. LL (double L) is a pair of electric cables which are towed parallel to each other on floats and emit a strong electric pulse which generates a magnetic field which detonated the magnetic mine.

Four Hundred and two Motor Minesweeper were built for the Royal Navy between 1940 and 1945.

Admiralty type; 1 to 118 and 123 to 313
Displacement      165 Tons
Length:                 105 Feet (32 metres)
Beam:                   23 Feet (7 metres)
Draft:                    9 feet 6 inches. (2.9 Metres)
Engine:                 Diesel. 500 BHP.
Speed:                  12.65 Miles per hour. (11 knots)
Complement:      20 Officers and men.
Armament:          Two 20 mm Anti-aircraft guns
                              Two machine guns.
 

 


Motor Minesweeper. (Note, the Acoustic “hammer” on the bow in the up position for acoustic mines, the drum on the stern for the LL cables to detonate magnetic mines and the anti-aircraft gun behind the cut away funnel.)

NORE COMMAND 1942, SHEERNESS, lists the following Motor Minesweepers.
Motor Minesweepers - MMS.1 at Sheerness, MMS.8 at Rotherhithe refitting, MMS.19, MMS.40, MMS.41, MMS.44, MMS.45, MMS.53, all at Sheerness, MMS.54 at Peterhead, MMS.56 at Rotherhithe, MMS.59 at Sheerness, MMS.68 at Lowestoft, MMS.79, MMS.82, MMS.113, all at Sheerness.

The first two Motor Minesweeper built, number one and number eight, were delivered to HMS Wildfire III at Queenborough.

By 1944 Wildfire III at Queenborough had 39 Motor Minesweepers, more than London, Harwich, Brightlingsea, Lowestoft, Yarmouth and Grimsby put together.

1941. Motor Mine Sweepers at Wildfire III, Queenborough, in 1941.

Many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough, Minesweepers were at the Scheldt Estuary. For more information on the Battle of the Scheldt, GO HERE.

 MMS 1, J 501.  Build by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Launched 3 Aug 1940.

11th May, 1941. MMS1 was bombed by the Luftwaffe. One of the bombs narrowly missed the ship. The Blitz on London was almost over and the German Bombers were being withdrawn and fighter bomber attacks on shipping in the Thames Estuary begun.

MMS 1 was out of action for 12 days while being repaired.

MMS 1 swept the Thames Estuary, the English Channel and the North Sea for Magnetic and Acoustic mines. Also see other sweeping areas HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Lieutenant RNVR. R.K. Husband.  11 Sept 40.
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR.  J. W. Johnson. 27 Nov 41
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR.   J. W. Heward.  7 Sept 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Lieutenant RNVR. R.K. Husband.  11 Sept 40.
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR.  J. W. Johnson. 27 Nov 41
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR.   J. W. Heward.  7 Sept 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR.  J. W. Johnson. 27 Nov 41
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. H. W. Knott. June 43.

MMS 8,  J 508. Build by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Commissioned 8 Jan 1941.

24 Jun 1944. Sunk. Detonated a mine and sunk off Normandy while sweeping for mines off the D-day landing beaches.

Crew lost.
BALL, John E, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 263181, MPK
BARRETT, Jack H, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
BROWN, George, Steward, RNPS, LT/LX 576566, MPK
BUTLER, Jack, Wireman, C/MX 118178, MPK DARBY, John D, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR, killed
DUNKS, James, Ordinary Signalman, RNPS, LT/JX 424171, MPK
KNOPP, Harry, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 149345, MPK
MACCUISH, John, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 529961, killed
MESSENGER, John A, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 596821, MPK
MOYSE, Ernest B, Leading Cook, RNPS, LT/MX 120230, MPK
REDMILE, John A, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 172993, MPK
TAYLOR, Clifford, Stoker 1c, RNPS, LT/KX 158763, killed
TREDGETT, Herbert J, Engineman, LT/JX 150237, MPK
WOODS, Alfred W, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 221574, MPK

 OFFICERS from Navy List December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieutenant F. L. Perkins, RNVR. DSC. 3 Feb 1941
Temp. Sub Lieutenant K. Hodson. 17 March 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR.  G. A. Moritz. In Command. 1 Feb 43.
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. G. R. B. Smith. 6 March 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR.  J. H. Barrett, In Command. 16 Feb 44. Killed when MMS detonated mine.
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. J. D. Darby. 14 Jan 44.

MMS 15, Built by Wivenhoe Shipyard, Essex. Completed March 1941.

MMS 15 was transferred to the 101st Minesweeping flotilla at Plymouth.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 15 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942. 
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, H. W. M. Haward,  31 May 42
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, I. O. Rogers.  21 Apr 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943. Navy List.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, I. O. Rogers. (In Command) 21 Apr 42.
Temp. Act. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, J. W. Howland. 14 April 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943. Navy List.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  I. O. Rogers. (In Command) 21 Apr 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, J. A. Stewart. 27 May 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June. 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  I. O. Rogers. (In Command) 21 Apr 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, J. A. Stewart. (act) 27 May 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR. G. S. Thomas. (In Command) 26 Oct 44

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, J. H. Morrison. 1 April 45
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, G. S. Thomas. 26 Oct 44.

MMS 15 the first Motor Minesweeper built the Wivenhoe Shipyard. Note the "Kanga" hammer (in the up position) on the bow used to detonate Acoustic  mines.

MMS 16, Built by Wivenhoe Shipyard, Essex. Completed April 1941. Survived the war and sold in 1948.

12th June, 1941. MMS 16 detonated a mine and was damaged. She was out of action for one month while being repaired.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 16 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

Officers and crew aboard the MMS 16 received high praise for their bravery and endurance in clearing mines and received the following awards.

MID. (Mentioned in Despatches)
William Henry John CARLIN, LT/KX113211, Engineman, 3 Apr 45. MID. Minesweeping - MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.

MID. (Mentioned in Despatches)

Edward FOREMAN, LT/KX99836, A/Chief Engineman, 3 Apr 45, MID. Minesweeping - MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.

DSM (Distinguished Service Medal)

Francis William John GIBSON, C/MX65323, Leading Wireman, 3 Apr 45, DSM. Minesweeping - DSM awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.

MMS 16 was transferred to the 101st Minesweeping flotilla at Plymouth. The date is unknown.

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., R. M. Johnston, 22 May 42.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., E. H. Jeffery. 28 Mar 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, T. Watson. (In Command) 10 Feb 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  S. R. Channon. 3 Dec 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, T. Watson. (In Command) 10 Feb 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  S. R. Channon. 3 Dec 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June. 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, T. Watson. (In Command) 10 Feb 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  S. R. Channon. 3 Dec 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, T. Watson. (In Command) 10 Feb 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  S. R. Channon. 3 Dec 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, H. Shadlock. 12 March 45.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, K. W. Driver. 12 March 45.

MMS 19, J519. Built by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Commissioned Feb 1941.

9th January 1942.  HMS Destroyer VIMIERA when escorting an FS Convoy hit a mine and blew up in the Thames Estuary within sight of Sheerness. The whole ship forward of the aft funnel disintegrated and over 70 died. Wildfire III vessels helped in the rescue of survivors. Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 19 rescued 24 men from the stricken vessel and MMS 79 took off three more. The minesweeping trawler HMT Soranus rescued eight badly wounded from the water

5 June 1944, (And rest of June) MMS 19 swept inshore off the Normandy (D-day) beaches.

DSM (Distinguished Service Medal)
George Scarlett. A/Leading Seaman, LT/JX 366331, HM MMS 19 was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal on the 01.01.1944

Areas in which MMS 19 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List  December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. R. A. Snell. 17 Feb 41
Temp. Sub Lieutenant RNVR. G.E. Fox. 27 Aug 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. R. A. Snell. 17 Feb 41
Temp. Sub Lieutenant RNVR. G.E. Fox. 27 Aug 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. R. A. Snell. 17 Feb 41
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. C. Churchman (act) 1 Dec 43.

MMS 25, Built at Frank Curtis, Looe. Completed July 1941, Sold November 1945.

Areas in which MMS 25 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., H. Lamberton, 23 June 41.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., W. L. M. Merrett, 18 Mar 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943. Navy List. Officers.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, B. H. E. Pounds.  27 Oct 42
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNZNVR, J. A. Childs. 7 Mar 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, G. Warren. (In Command) 30 Oct 43
Temp. Act. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, H. F. Bantick. 17 Sep 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June. 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, G. Warren. (In Command) 30 Oct 43
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, H. F. Bantick. 17 Sep 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, G. Warren. (In Command) 30 Oct 43
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, H. F. Bantick. 17 Sep 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, G. Warren. (In Command) 30 Oct 43
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, H. F. Bantick. 17 Sep 43.

MMS 26, Built by Frank Curtis, Par, Cornwall. Completed August 1941. Sold in 1949.

Transferred to the 110th Minesweeping Flotilla, Nore Command.

10 October 1941. TOOLE, James H, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 284055, DOWS, (Died of wounds)

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 26 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

MID. (Mentioned in Despatches)
Thomas BARTLAN, C/MX97159, Wireman, 3 Apr 45, MID. Minesweeping - MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the Scheldt estuary of mines Sep-Nov 1944.

For more information on areas in which MMS 26 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., L. T. Wilding, 1 July 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut., R.N.V.R., C. Hustler, 18 Nov 41.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943. Navy List.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. L. Owen. 30 Nov 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, W. L. Akeroyd. Nov 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. L. Owen. 30 Nov 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, W. L. Akeroyd. Nov 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June. 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. L. Owen. 30 Nov 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, W. L. Akeroyd. Nov 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. L. Owen. 30 Nov 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, W. L. Akeroyd. Nov 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. L. Owen. (In Command) 30 Nov 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, W. L. Akeroyd. Nov 42.

MMS 39 Built at Richards Ironworks, Lowestoft. Launched 4 January 1941. Completed April 1941.
MMS 39 was the first of the Motor Minesweepers to be lost in World War Two.  On 7th August 1941 MMS 39 detonated a mine and sunk.

The following crewmen lost their lives:

JENSON, Viggo E H, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 107991, MPK  (Missing Presumed Killed)
THIRKELL, Norman C, Ordinary Telegraphist, C/JX 251466, MPK (Missing Presumed Killed)
WATERS, William T, Wireman, P/MX 64582, died.

Seventeen survivors of MMS 39 owe their lives to an air-sea rescue float (an anchored vessel equipped with water, food medical supplies and signal lights) which they swam to after their minesweeper sunk.

MMS.40, J 540. Built by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Commissioned 10 Jun 1941.

1st 0ctober 1941. Damaged by a mine and out of action for 3 weeks.

5 June 1944, (And rest of June) MMS 40 swept inshore off the Normandy (D-day) beaches.

27th June, 1944. Detonated a mine and sunk but was later re-floated. Out of action for four and a half months.

For more information on areas in which MMS 40 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. N. B. Lewis. 27 Aug 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. N. B. Lewis. 27 Aug 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant RNVR. N. B. Lewis. 27 Aug 42
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. J. W. C. Cleland. 1 Oct 43.

MMS 41, Built by Richards Ironworks, Lowerstoft. Launched 14th May 1941. Sold 1949.

​5 June 1944, (and rest of June) MMS 41 swept inshore off the Normandy (D-day) beaches.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 41 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

For more information on areas in which MMS 41 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942.
NOT ON NAVY LIST.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, E. T. Garside. 9 June 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, E. R. Savidge. 12 Mar 43

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, B. F. W. Besemer. (In Command) 28 July 43. 
Temp. Act. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, R. Derbyshire. 27 July 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June. 1944.
NOT ON NAVY LIST.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, B. F. W. Besemer. (In Command) 28 July 43. 
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, R. Derbyshire. 27 July 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, B. F. W. Besemer. (In Command) 28 July 43. 
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, R. Derbyshire. 27 July 43.

MMS.44, J 544.  Built by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Commissioned 18 Sep 1941. 

13th November 1941. Detonated Mine out of action 3 weeks.

5 June 1944, (And rest of June) MMS 44 swept inshore off the Normandy (D-day) beaches.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 44 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

After sweeping the Scheldt MMS44 went on to Ijmuiden where the Germans were still close at hand.

The Cook, Scadeng recalls, “The men who went ashore found an abandoned German Officers Mess which was well stocked with wine and spirits. They all returned very, very drunk.


For more information on areas in which MMS 44 operated. CLICK HERE.

OFFICERS from Navy List December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieut. Com. RNVR. G. S Peyton. 10 June 42
Temp. Sub Lieutenant RNVR. D. R. Davis. 24 March 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Temp. Lieut. Com. RNVR. G. S Peyton. 10 June 42
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. S. A. G. Nex. 1 March 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. G E Fox, in Command. 1 Dec 43
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. S. A. G. Nex. 1 March 1943

Many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough, Minesweepers were at the Scheldt Estuary. For more information on the Battle of the Scheldt, GO HERE.


If you, your father or your grandfather have any additional information about this ship, crew lists, stories, photographs, please send copies of them to be added to our records and this website.

Thank you.
Contact: Johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk


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Motor Mine Sweeper 15 being launched.