William Rhodes, on the left.

WILLIAM RHODES served on BYMS 2187 from September 1945 to February 1946 when BYMS 2187 was attached to HMS St Angelo, the shore base at Malta. Before that he served on vessel MW 1251, also at St Angelo, Malta.

Prior to being on Malta, William did his training at Ganges near Felixstowe, then to the Sparrows Nest at Lowestoft.

BYMS 2187
British Yard Mine Sweeper


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: Greenport Basin and Construction Co., Greenport, Long Island, New York, USA.
Laid down: 27 June 1942. 
Launched: 7 September 1942.  
Handed over to Royal Navy: 12 March 1943.
Returned to USA: 10 June 1947. Sold in Malta and re-named, Lord Strickland. Later renamed Amiral de Joinville and Centaur.


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.

HMS Valse (T151), 

Not on Navy Lists.

Tempy. Lieut., P. Moore, 1 Oct 43. (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., V. G. Button 4 July 43.

Tempy. Lieut., P. Moore, 1 Oct 43. (In Command)

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.

Thank you.

Contact: johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk

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BYMS 2187 after the war, renamed Amiral de Joinville and used as a ferry.

William spent most of his service on HMS Valse (T151), a dance class minesweeper based in Scotland between Nov 1941 and Oct 1944. This seems to have travelled mainly between Methil near Edinburgh and Oban via Loch Ewe. I understood he took part in the Arctic runs to Murmansk and Archangel.

HMS Valeta T130. Sister ship to HMS Valse, both Dance Class Minesweepers both based at Belfast and both escorts on WN and EC coastal convoys. 

Lowering the Oropesa Float to sweep for contact mines. Mine exploding in background or mark on photograph, what do you think?

Crew of HMS Valse.

Thank you to Kelvin Rhodes who sent the following information and photographs about his dad William Rhodes.

BYMS 2187 with sister minesweeper BYMS 2086.

BYMS 2187. A note on the reverse stating that Venice is in the background.


12 March 1943, completed.
12 May 1943, New York, USA.
22 to 22 May 1943, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3 May 1943, St John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
11 to 15 June 1943, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
7 July 1943, Falmouth.
25 to 31 July 1943, Gibraltar.
5 to 20 Aug 1943, Bizerte, Tunisia.
25 Aug to 9 Dec 1943, Gibraltar.
14 Dec 1943, Malta.
4 March 1944, Malta.
1 to 10 April 1945, Taranto, Italy.
10 April to 11 May 1944, Brindisi, Italy, Adriatic.
15 May 1944, Taranto, Italy.
16 May 1944, Taranto, Italy.
16 Aug 1944, Naples, Italy.
18 Aug to 29 Sep 1944, Taranto, Italy.
30  Sep to 2 Oct 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
9 to 14 Oct 1944, Bari, Italy, Adriatic.
15 Oct to 8 Nov 1944, Taranto, Italy.
13 Nov 1944, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
19 June 1945, Ancona, Italy, Adriatic.
4 July 1945, Venice, Italy.
10 June 1947, returned to USA.

Even though the war was over, the danger to shipping continued. American Liberty Ship SS William Hume hit a mine and sunk in the Aegean  in December 1945. Photo taken from BYMS  2187.