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. (Note, ANCXF is the Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force, leading up to D-day and beyond. MSF is Mine Sweeping Flotilla.)
Built by: Robert Jacob Inc., City Island, New York, USA.
Laid down: 18 May 1942.
Launched: 10 October 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 7 May 1943.
Returned to USA: 29 August 1947. Transferred to Poland on 18 April 1948 and re-named Delfin, T-31.
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.
7 May 1943, completed.
29 June 1943, New York, USA.
2 to 15 July 1943, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
17 to 22 July 1943, St John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
29 July 1943, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
3 to 9 Aug 1943, Port Edgar, (Edinburgh) Scotland.
10 to 14 Aug 1943, Humber.
15 Aug 1943, Rosyth, Scotland.
11 Sep 1943, Loch Ewe.
15 Sep Humber.
24 April 1944, Humber.
25 April 1944,Great Yarmouth.
26 April 1944, Harwich.
16 April 1944, Southend.
6 May 1944 Portsmouth.
22 June 1944,Humber.
25 and 26 June Portland.
1 Aug 1944, Plymouth.
4 August 1944, Milford Haven.
23 Aug 1944, Dartmouth.
13 Sep to 19 Oct 1944, Portsmouth.
31 August 1944, Humber.
2 Nov 1944, Sheerness.
9 Jan 1945, Humber.
13 Feb 1945, Falmouth.
10 June 1945, Ghent, Belgium.
29 August 1947, returned to USA.
1 August 1957, wrecked north of Gdynia, Poland.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Dispatches.
Stanley Ewart DAVIES, Lieutenant Commander, BYMS 2211 as SO 159th MSF. DSC, Bar to DSC, MID.
Bar to DSC.
DSC awarded for meritorious work in minesweeping in the North Sea. New Year honours 1942.
First Bar to DSC awarded for enterprise and skill minesweeping around Orkney and Shetland July 1943.
First MID awarded for leadership, skill and devotion to duty in an important minesweeping operation (Humber 28 January 1944).
Second Bar to DSC awarded for gallantry, skill, determination and undaunted devotion to duty during the landing of Allied Forces on the coast of Normandy.
Second MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.
George Edward GALLOWAY, LT/KX110524, Chief Engineman, BYMS 2211. DSM awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France. Cherbourg. MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.
Reginald Alexand HOPE, C/MX63939, PO Wireman, BYMS 2211,16 Jan 45. MID awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France. Cherbourg and approaches.
Donald MacKAY, LT/JX166060, Seaman, BYMS 2211, MID awarded for minesweeping in North Sea.
DSM awarded for leadership, skill and devotion to duty in an important minesweeping operation.
Harold Arthur LANE, C/MX92774, Wireman, BYMS 2211, 6 Jun 44. DSM awarded for leadership, skill and devotion to duty in an important minesweeping operation. Humber area 28 Jan 44.
Thomas Henry SPALL, Skipper BYMS 2211. DSC awarded for courage and skill when HM Trawler Stella Rigel destroyed an enemy aircraft. MID awarded for gallantry and skill in minesweeping operations off the coast of France, on 2211.
BYMS 2211 was transferred to Poland on 18 April 1948 and re-named Delfin, T-31.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Tempy. Lieut., R. K. Tod , 7 May 43, (In Command.)
Tempy. Lieut., A. J. Greenacre, 7 May 43.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Lieut-Com., S. E. Davis, DSC (act). 24 Sept 43.
Lieutenant., G. Robinson, 11 May 44.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., E. Wilkinson, 1 Jan 44.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Lieut.-Com., S. E. Davis, DSC (act) 24 Sept 43.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., E Wilkinson, 1 Jan 44.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., H. Brook, 29 Nov 44.
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