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: Henry C. Grebe and Co., Chicago, Illinois, United States (On Lake Michigan).
Laid down: 28 May 1942.
Launched: 7 December 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 13 May 1943.
Returned to USA: Sold 5 April 1948 to Finland.
Sold to religious group on 15 June 1954 and re-named Ebeneser. With thirty-three people on board, including children, she sailed to Singapore. On the 20 September 1983 a typhon hit Indonesian and the Ebeneser sunk. All crew including three children survived by taking the ships boat.
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., A. L. Mulcare, DSC. 9 Oct 43 (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., N. C. C. Hamill, 19 Dec 43
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Lieut.-Com., A. L. Mulcare, DSC, 9 Oct 43. ( In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., N. C. C. Hamll, 19 Dec 43.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., J. G. Pearson, 2 Oct 44.
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13 May 1943, completed.
6 Aug 1943, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
9 to 10 Aug 1943, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
13 to 18 Aug 1943, 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.
24 April 1944, Humber.
25 April 1944, Great Yarmouth.
26 April 1944, Harwich.
26 April 1944, Southend.
6 May 1944, Portsmouth.
22 May 1944, Humber.
BYMS 2157’s rapid movements at this time suggests she may have been escorting convoys in the build up to D-day.
22 May 1944, Southend. (A major anchorage for convoys)
25 and 26 June 1944, Portland.
8 July to 3 Aug 1944, Plymouth.
4 Aug 1944, Milford Haven.
9 Aug to 12 Sep 1944, Humber.
18 Sep 1944, Portsmouth.
11 Oct 1944, Humber.
11 Oct to 1 Nov 1944, Harwich.
13 Nov 1944, Ostend, Belgium.
6 Jan 1945, Dover.
5 April 1948, returned to USA.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Dispatches.
Percy James CHILVERS, Leading Wireman, BYMS 2173, 16 Jan 45 DSM awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France. Cherbourg Approaches.
Robert COLQUHOUN, LT/JX201830, Signalman, BYMS 2173, 16 Jan 45, MID awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France. Cherbourg approaches and harbour.
Arthur Leonard MULCARE, Lieutenant, HMT Remexo (M/S), BYMS 2173, 1 Jan 44 and 16 Jan 45 DSC and MID. MID awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France. Cherbourg harbour and approaches. DSC awarded New Year Honours 1944.