OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Not on Navy Lists.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Lieut., C. Thomson 31 May 43 R.A.N.V.R. (In Command)
Tempy. Lieut., W. G. Brown, 31 May 43.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Lieut., J. E. Smith (In Command) Aug 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.
Moonlit Assault in the Aegean, painted by Richard DeRosset showing the attack on BYMS 2072 and 2073.
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 July 1942.
Launched: 7 April 1943.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 31 May 1943.
Returned to USA: 23 May 1947. Sold to Italy and re-named Begonia.
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.
31 May 1943, completed.
14 July 1943, New York, USA.
17 July 1943, Boston, USA.
28 July 1943, St John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
4 Aug 1943, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
18 Aug to 31 Aug 1943, Humber.
7 to 9 Sep 1943, Milford Haven.
16 to 18 Sep 1943, Gibraltar.
4 Oct to 8 Nov 1943, Beirut, Lebanon.
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.
15 to 26 Dec 1943 Beirut, Lebanon.
4 Jan 1944, Cyprus.
4 Jan to 12 March 44, Beirut, Lebanon.
12 March to 9 June,1944, Haifa, Palestine, (today Israel)
10 to 13 June 1944, Famagusta, Cyprus.
14 June 1944, Beirut, Lebanon.
18 June 1944, Haifa, Palestine, (today Israel)
4 Aug 1944, Beirut, Lebanon.
8 Aug 1944, Haifa, Palestine, (today Israel)
9 Aug to 21 Sep 1944, Alaxandria, Egypt.
25 Sep to 12 Oct 1944, Alaxandria, Egypt.
14 Jan to 4 March 1945, Alaxandria, Egypt.
7 and 8 March 1945, Piraeus, (Athens) Greece.
17 t0 28 March 1945, Piraeus, (Athens) Greece.
9 May to 9 June 1945, Alaxandria, Egypt.
5 to 17 June 1945, Port Said, Egypt.
18 to 21 June 1945, Alaxandria, Egypt.
2 to 17 July 1945, Piraeus, (Athens) Greece.
23 May 1947, returned to USA.