BYMS 2022, November 1943, off the Italian coast.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943
Skipper Lieut., K. S. Hawkridge (act) 12 Mar 42
Tempy. Skipper. G. E. Beech 22 Apr 42
Tempy. Skipper. J. Smith 22 Apr 42
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Skipper Lieut., G. Garden (Act) 14 Jan 44.
Tempy. Skipper, F. West, Apr 44.
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British Yard Mine Sweeper
BRITISH YARD MINE SWEEPERS
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 2022 detonated a mine and sunk off Frejus, France on 8 February 1945 with the loss of two of her crew.
MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA: 153rd MFS, Mediterranean: 2009, 2019, 2022, 2026, 2027, 2037, 2077, 2171, 2172.
Built by: Seattle Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Seattle, Washington, USA. (West Coast)
Laid down: 24 October 1941.
Launched: 21 March 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 5 September 1942.
Sunk by mine: 16 August 1944.
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.
5 September 1942.Completed.
10 April 1943, Cristobal, Panama Canal.
28 June 1943, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
2 May 1944, Tripoli, Libya.
16 August 1944.Sunk by mine off Frejus, South Coast of France, Mediterranean.
FORFAR, James P, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 287367, MPK
SHORTMAN, Alfred J, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 280012, MPK.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Dispatches.
Horace Broderick LAITY, 2nd Hand, HMT Asama (M/S), and BYMS 2022, 3 Sep 40 MID,
MID awarded for bravery, skill and enterprise in minesweeping operations off the Coasts of Holland, Belgium and France.
8 Jun 44. DSM awarded in King's Birthday Honours 1944 for gallantry and outstanding service in the face of the enemy, or for zeal, patience and cheerfulness in dangerous waters.