OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Tempy. Lieut., E. H. Taylor, 14 May 43. (In Command.)
Tempy. Lieut., W. Carruthers, 14 May 43.
Tempy. Lieut., B. W. Ralph (act) 14 May 43
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14 May 1943, completed.
14 July 1943, New York, USA.
17 July 1943, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
28 July 1943, St John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
4 Aug 1943, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
10 Aug 1943, Humber.
9 Sep 1943, Milton Haven.
16 Sep 1943, Gibraltar.
4 Oct 1943, Beirut.
BYMS 2072. "Moonlit Assault in the Aegean", painted by Richard DeRosset.
8, Nov 1943, BYMS 2072 was diverted to Beirut where she re-joined BYMS73 and embarked men and supplies bound for Leros. BYMS 2072 carried four army officers, forty-six troops and stores while BYMS 2073, carried three army officers and forty-five men of the Buffs and Signals.
The German Air Force had almost total control of the skies and the Royal Navy mainly operated at night
11 Nov 1943, BYMS 2072 and 2073 arrived at Alinda Bay on the east coast of Leros and disembarked the urgently needed men and supplies. After taking cover throughout the next day, BYMS 2072 parted company with her sister ship BYMS 2073 to return to Alinda Bay with cables for the Army Signal Corps.
In early evening, as she approached Leros, BYMS 2072 was attacked by the Luftwaffe. She took immediate evasive action, with four bombs narrowly missing her. Out of sight, and unheard above the noise of the ship’s engines, four German DO-217 bombers, armed with eight glider bombs, attacked.
The 2074 experienced a direct hit on the port side. The explosion blew the port 20mm gun, its platform and two gunners into the sea. As BYMS 2072 heeled over to 45 degrees the mast collapsed resulting in the loss of a third crewman and injury to another.
Following the distress message, the Royal Navy sent the motor launch ML-299 and motor torpedo boat MTB-315 to their aid. The commanding officer of motor torpedo boat MTB-315 piloted BYMS72 into the bay where the dead and wounded were removed.
BYMS 2072 limped back in the darkness towards her base for urgently needed repairs, to find herself in the middle of a German Invasion fleet.
The officer in charge Oberleutnant Hansjürgan Weissenborn hailed the BYMS 2072 and asked “Hello what ship?”. BYMS 2072 replied “we are a minesweeper looking for a safe place for the night.”
BYMS 2072 was ordered the follow the German vessel and two gunboats fell in behind her.
Suddenly, in the darkness and confusion a German vessel opened up at close range on the 2072. Other, close by, vessels also fired on the stricken 2072 at point blank range.
Unable to return fire, (her gun had been blown into the sea when the glider bomb exploded) and sinking, the order was given to abandon ship.
Three men made it to shore at Linaria Bay on the west coast of Kalymnos, but the rest were taken prisoner and would spend the remainder of the war in a German Prisoner of war camp.
One of the men who made it to shore had been wounded in both legs and would be captured by the Germans, but the other two escaped and made it back to Alaxandria in Egypt.
BYMS 2072 men lost.
11 November 1943.
EGAN, William D, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 428156, killed
GEEVES, Arthur, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 210982, MPK (Missing Presumed Killed)
WIGG, Robert H, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 209221, killed.
12 November 1943.
SULLIVAN, David J, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 260626, DOW (Died of Wounds)
13 Nov 1943
TURNER, Joseph, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 198963, DOW
14 Nov 43
MACIVER, Kenneth, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 166042, DOW.
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: 156th MSF, Mediterranean: 2031, 2056, 2068, 2072, 2073, 2187, 2190, 2209.
Built by: Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp., Whitestone, New York, USA.
Laid down: 25 June 1942.
Launched: 7 April 1943.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 14 May 1943
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.