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.
26 August 1943 the USA Cargo ship John Bell was sunk by a torpedo from German submarine U-410, in the Mediterranean off La Calle, Algeria with the loss of one of her 72 crew. Survivors were rescued by BYMS 2023.
MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA: 151st MSF, Mediterranean: 2011, 2012, 2020, 2023.
Built by: Seattle Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Seattle, Washington, USA. (West Coast)
Laid down: 4 March 1942.
Launched: 23 May 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 27 October 1942
Returned to USA: 23 May 1947.
Sold to Italy: 23 May 1947 and renamed Mughetto.
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.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Lieutenant N. Psaroudis. 27 June 42
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., H. F. Tagg 24 July 42
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., R. E. A. Jones, 1 July 42
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Lieut., G. F. S. Winrow, Jan 41 (In Command)
Tempy. Lieut., H. F. Tagg, 24 July 42
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Not on Navy List.
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27 October 1942, completed.
9 March 1943, San Francisco, USA.
9 June 1943, Cristobal, Panama Canal.
9 July 1943, Belem, Brazil. Preparing to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
3 to 7 August 1943, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
15 August 1943, Las Palmas, Canary Islands.
19 August 1943, Casablanca, Morocco.
30 Aug to 25 Nov 1943, Malta.
15 to 17 Nov 1943, Augusta, Sicily.
30 Nov 1943, Brindisi, Italy.
29 April 1944, Taranto, Italy.
23 to 24 May 1944, Brindisi, Italy.
10 June 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
12 to 17 June 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
21 Aug to 12 Sep 1944, Taranto, Italy.
16 Sep 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
17 Sep 1944, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
26 Oct 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
7 Nov 1944, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
19 Nov 1944, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
4 Dec 1944, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
18 Jan 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
20 t0 22 Jan 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
31 Jan1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
28 Feb 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
8 April 1945, Matla.
13 April 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
25 to 26 April 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
6 May 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
8 to 19 May 1945, Trieste, Italy.
25 May to 5 June 1945, Venice, Italy.
5 July 1945, Trieste, Itay.
23 May 1947, returned to USA.
December 1944. RICHES, Albert E, Leading Steward, RNPS, LT/LX 27771, DOWS (Died of wounds)
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Despatches.
John Alexander COSSAR, Lieutenant, BYMS 2023, 15 May 45. MID awarded for gallantry, perseverance and devotion to duty in minesweeping operations under enemy fire in the Adriatic August to October 1944.