BYMS 2204
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:  166th MSF, Eastern Fleet, S.E. Asia: 2060, 2162, 2168, 2181, 2203, 2204, 2232 2236.

​Built by: Hiltebrant Dock Co., Kingston, New York, USA.
Laid down: 2 November 1942. 
Launched:  2 March 1943.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 14 September 1943.
Returned to USA: 3 September 1946. Sold for commercial use at Subic, Philippines.

SPECIFICATIONS:

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.

R. Willingham, of Chandlers Ford writes, I was in the Royal Navy during World War 2. In 1944 I went out to the Far East as an Officer on a Minesweeper. There was a fleet of BYMS (British Yard Minesweepers}that were on loan from the USA. We were occupied clearing mines on the Burma coast,the river up to Rangoon. We were heading over to help with the invasion of Malaysia when fortunately the war ended. The task then was to clear the minefields along the Malaysian coast, Penang, Port Swettenham (as it was called) down to Singapore, up to Bangkok, Saigon and Borneo. I was appointed Commanding Officer of BYMS 2204 whilst we were in Saigon. When our minesweeping tasks were completed we had to return our ships to the U.S.A Authorities in Subic Bay (The Phillipines). I was able to get back to the U.K. in time to celebrate my 21st birthday."

MOVEMENTS.

14 September 1943, completed.
28 Oct 1943, New York
2 to 7 Nov 1943, Bermuda.
15 to 22 Nov 1943, Horta, Azores.
21 to 29 Nov 1943 Gibraltar.
21 Dec 1943, Tunisia.
14 Dec 1943, Malta.
19 and 20 Dec 1943, Port Said, Egypt.
20 and 21 Dec 1943, Suez, Suez Canal, Egypt. 
26 Dec 1943, Aden, Yemen.
1 Jan 1944, Aden, Yemen.
7 to 16 Jan 1944, Bombay, India.
20 Jan 1944, Colombo, Ceylon, (Sri Lanka)
31 May 1944, Colombo, Ceylon, (Sri Lanka)
14 and 15 June, Colombo, Ceylon, (Sri Lanka)
10 Sep 1944, Singapore.
3 September 1946, returned to USA.

AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Despatches.

Peter Paterson CURRIE, C/MX64571, PO Wireman, BYMS 2204, 20 Nov 45, DSM awarded for courage, efficiency and devotion to duty in the establishment of navigational aids in the approaches to the Rangoon river, in minesweeping and in the survey of the river prior to the assault on the city, May 1945. Irriwaddy river, Burma.

Eric John Campbell EDWARDS, Commander, BYMS 2204. 4 Oct 40. MID, DSC and two bars. First bar to DSC awarded New Year Honours 1941. Second Bar to DSC awarded for beating off air attacks.

MID awarded for operation off Arakan Coast Nov 44 - Mar 45. Second bar to DSC awarded for courage, efficiency and devotion to duty in the establishment of navigational aids in the approaches to the Rangoon river, in minesweeping and in the survey of the river prior to the assault on the city, May 1945.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Not on Navy Lists.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Lieut, R. A. Latrielle, 25 Feb 44. (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., D. C. Downie, 15 Sept 43.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Lieut., R. A. Latrielle 25 Feb 44 (In Command)
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., D. C. Downie, 15 Sept 43.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., C. W. Sealey, 21 Feb 45.

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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