BYMS 2006

British Yard Mine Sweeper 2006


BYMS’s were built in the United States and transferred the Royal Navy under the Lend-lease Programme. “British Yard Mine Sweepers” are so called because they were built to the same design as the US Navy’s “Yard Mine Sweepers”.  

Crews for the BYMS’s would sail to the United States, often on the Queen Mary, which could sail unescorted because of her greater speed, to collect their vessel. They would then have the formidable task of sailing their small vessel back across the Atlantic Ocean, often in winter. 

BYMS 2006. 151st MSF, South East Asia: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

Built by: Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp., Whitestone, New York, USA.
Laid down:   4 November 1941
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 28 September 1942.
Transferred: to South Korea 10 May 1947 and renamed Kong Ju (YMS 516)


Wooden hull. Length, 130 feet. Beam, 25 feet 6 inches. Depth, 12 feet I inch. Draft, 8 foot 10.5 inches. Displacement 207-215 tons.

Engine: Two 800 bhp General Motors diesel engines.

Speed: 14.6 knots. 10 knots while sweeping. (Eight knots with double Oropesa sweeps)

Range: 2,500 at ten knots.

Compliment: 3 officers and 27 men.

Armament: One 3-inch HA/LA gun and two Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns.

BYMS’s were fitted with a drum on the stern with LL (double L) cables for sweeping magnetic mines, an acustic hammer on the bow for sweeping acustic mines and Oropesa floats for sweeping tethered mines.

All YMS and BYMS were built to the same design, the only variation was in the number of exhaust stacks. Minesweepers 1 to 134 had two sacks, 135 to 480 had one stack, 466 to 479 had no stacks.

BYMS 2006 sailed across the Atlantic with sister minesweepers BYMS 2005, BYMS 2007, and BYMS 2008. Their journey of 16,000 miles, via Cape Town to South East Asia, took 5 months.

8th to 21st February 1945. BYMS 2006 took part in Operation Block a British amphibious undertaking to destroy the last remnants of the Japanese forces on Ramree island, Burma, and stop them from escaping to the east by blocking the escape routes.

While the Royal Navy “blocked” the waterways to stop them escaping east, the 14th Army chased the surviving Japanese forces through the jungle and mangrove swamps.

A Japanese Motor launch was hiding in overhanging foliage while unknown to it, not far away was a British Motor Launch. As BYMS 2006 passed the Japanese ML opened fire with its machine gun. The British ML also fired its machine guns with BYMS 2006 being caught in the cross fire. One man was wounded with a bullet crease to his head.

During Operation Turret, which involved a 40-mile passage through twisting waterways. Six landing Craft  were towed in two lines by British Yard Mine Sweepers.

BYMS 2006 was given the task of placing fixed lights to assist the assault force arriving in six convoys.


Thank you to Damian Kelly for the photograph of his uncle Paddy Kelly who served on BYMS 2006 and died of his wounds on the 31st March 1944.


20 January 1943. New York, USA.
21 Jan to 4 Feb 1943. Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
21 Feb, 1943.Trinadad.
16 March 1943. Recife, Brazil. Preparing to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
11 April to 14 April 1943. Takoradi. (Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, West Africa.)
30 April 1943. Walvis Bay, Namibia.
5 May to 25 May 1943. Simonstown, (Cape Town) South Africa.
2 July to 5 July 1943. Diago Suarez, Madagascar.
8 July to 9 July 1943. Seychelles.
16 July to 22 Nov. Colombo, Ceylon. (Sri Lanka)
7 Dec 1943. Colombo.
16 April 1944. Chittagong. India (Today Bangladesh)
23 April 1944. Madras, (Today Chennai) India on the Bay of Bengal)
13 June to 4 July 1944. Colombo.
12 November 1946. Returned to U.S. custody.
10 May 1947. Transferred to South Korea and renamed Kong Ju (YMS 516)
19 October 1950. Sunk in Wonson Harbour, Korea, by a mine.

Wednesday, 29 March 1944. BYMS.2006
MCLEMAN, Gilbert, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 281835, DOWS

Friday, 31 March 1944. BYMS.2006.
KELLY, Patrick J C, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 281135, DOWS

Skipper Lieut., R. A. Cook (act) 9 July 42.
Tempy. Skipper, G Wilson, 8 Aug 42
Tempy. Skipper, S. Capes, Sept 42

Tempy. Skipper, L. Claxton, (in Command) Dec 43
Tempy. Skipper, G. Wilson, 4 Aug 42.
Lieut., SANF, E. A. I. Evans, 10 Feb 45.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut, R.N.Z.V.R., D. C. Rendell 11 Jan 45.


Lieut., SANF, E. A. I. Evans, 10 Feb 45.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut, R.N.Z.V.R., D. C. Rendell 11 Jan 45.

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.


Click here.

Click here