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: 154th MSF, West Africa: 2010, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2025, 2149, 2244, 2261.
Built by: Western Boat Building Co., Tacoma, Washington, USA, (West Coast)
Laid down: 26 October 1942.
Launched: 4 April 1943.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 3 July 1943.
Returned to USA: 6 June 1947. Transferred to Egypt and re-named Rafah.
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.
Not on Navy Lists.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Lieut., C. Dugdale, 1 Jan 44.
Tempy. Skipper Lieut., P. E. Hodge 1 Jan 44
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Lieut., C. M. Gershuny, 12 May 45. (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., Hon. A. K. B. Greenway. Mar 45
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3 July 1943, completed, Tacoma, Washington, USA.
27 Oct 1943, Cristoba, Panama Canal.
31 Oct to 6 Dec 1943, Trinidad.
15 to 30 Nov 1943, Belem (Para) Brazil.
9 Dec 1943, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
23 Feb 1944, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
24 May 1945, Dakar, Senegal.
31 May 1945, Gibraltar,
7 to 14 June 1945, Portsmouth.
15 June 1945, Ramsgate.
16 June 1945, Brightlingsea.
6 June 1947, returned to USA.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Dispatches.
Ernest Leonard FISHER, LT/KX125301, Chief Enginemen, BYMS 2149, 14 Jun 45. MID awarded King's Birthday Honours 1945.