William served on BYMS 2045 for ten months at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, clearing mines from the rough waters of the North Atlantic. Halifax was strategically important and had to be kept clear of mines laid by U-boats as it was the jump-off point for the Atlantic convoys bringing vital supplies, war materials and troops to England in preparation for D-day.


Thank you to Katrina Jennens for the photographs and information. Katrina’s Dad, Petty Officer William Frederick Payne served on the minesweeper BYMS 2047.

Petty Officer William Frederick Payne underwent his training at HMS Europa. Known as the Sparrow’s Nest, HMS Europa was the Royal Naval Patrol Service (RNPS) shore base at Lowestoft. 

In early April 1944 BYMS 2047 was recalled to England and crossed the Atlantic, via Horta, in the Azores. BYMS 2047 with her sister minesweepers were urgently needed the clear the approaches to the D-day landing beaches.

On D-day, after clearing each warship into its firing position the BYMS continued clearing right up to the beaches.

Following D-day BYMS 2047 would have participated in clearing the Scheldt and opening up the Port of Antwerp, allowing war materials to be unloaded from ships right on the front line.

BYMS 2047 would have gone on to open up the Dutch ports allowing urgently need food to arrive to the Dutch people who were starving to death. (All food supplies to Holland had been cut off to much of the country after the train worker stopped working to assist the Allies during Operation Market Garden. (A bridge too far)

Following the war William’s time in Canada prompted him to immigrate. His choice was either Canada or New Zealand. He chose New Zealand. 


9 March 1943, completed.
5 June 1943, Charleston, South Carolina, United States22 June 1943, New York, USA.
25 June 1943, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
27 June to 26 July 1943, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
17 April 1944, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
24 April to 2 May 1944, Horta, Azores.
6 May 1944, Falmouth.
13 May 1944, Portsmouth.
15 May to 7 Sep 1944, Dover.
7 to 27 Sep 1944, Harwich.
29 Sep 1944, Dover.
2 March, 1945, Dover.
18 June 1945, Dover.
18 to 20 June 1945, Portsmouth.
20 to 23 June 1945, Falmouth.
23 June 1945, Appledore.
5 May 1948, returned to USA.

Crew of BYMS 2047,  Petty Officer William Frederick Payne is front row second from right.

Tempy. Lieut., A. V. Pearce, July 42.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., T. D. K. Smith 6 Sept 42
Tempy. Sub-Lieut.,  D. G. Worth 1 Sept 42.

Tempy. Lieut., H. F. Harvey 1 June 44. (In Command)
Tempy. Lieut., D. P. Parsons (act) 5 June 44.

Tempy. Lieut., H. F. Harvey, 1 June 44. (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., J. R. McCluskie, DSC. May 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.

Contact: johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk

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BYMS 2047
British Yard Mine Sweeper


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. 

MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA:  167th MSF: 2047, 2051, 2061, 2069,2155, 2156, 2182, 2210.
Based at: Androssan and Liverpool 1943. ANCFX 1944. Humber 1945. NW Europe 1946

Built by: Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Laid down:  23 April 1942.
Launched:  8 August 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 9 March 1943.
Returned to USA: 5 May 1948, sold to Finland and re-named Katanpää.

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.

Petty Officer William Frederick Payne

BYMS 2045 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.