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.
MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA: 159th MSF: 2032, 2052, 2055, 2070, 2071, 2157, 2173, 2211.
Based at Grimsby 1943. ANCXF 1944-45. Dover 1946.
Built by: Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Laid down: 7 July 1942.
Launched: 3 October 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 21 May 1943.
Returned to USA: August 1947.
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.
21 May 1943, completed.
6 Aug 1943, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
8 to 18 Aug 1943, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
13 to 19 Aug 1843, St John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
25 and 26 Aug 1943, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
27 Aug 1943, Fort William.
29 Aug 1943, Inverness.
31 Aug 1943, Humber.
28 Dec 1943, Southend.
24 April 1944, Humber.
26 April, 1944, Southend.
6 May 1944, Portsmouth.
22 May 1944, Humber.
21 June, 1944, Plymouth.
Possibly took part in the D-day operation as was in that area.
25 and 26 June Portland.
15 July 1944, Plymouth.
15 July 1944, Cherbourg, France. Clearing the port after the American Army has captured it.
4 Aug 1944, Milford Haven.
9 Aug 1944, Humber.
18 Sep 1944, Portsmouth.
11 Oct 1944, Humber.
12 to 25 Oct 1944, Harwich.
3 Nov 1944, Ostend. Opening up the Scheldt and the port of Antwerp.
4 Nov 1944, Antwerp.
29 Dec 1944, Dover.
August 1947, returned to USA.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Despatches.
Alleyn Oliver MARK, Lieutenant, BYMS 2052. 15 May 45. DSC awarded for gallantry, perseverance and devotion to duty in minesweeping operations under enemy fire in the Adriatic. Aug - Oct 44.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Tempy. Lieut., C. E. Haste, 22 May 43.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., E. E. Firth, 29 Nov 44.
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.