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.
22 March 1945. BYMS 2279 rescued survivors from U.S. Liberty ship, Charles D. McIver which struck a mine in the Scheldt Estuary, leaving Antwerp, Belgium.
MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA: 168th MSF: 2042, 2062, 2063, 2234 2253, 2254, 2279, 2280.
Based at: Portsmouth/ANCXF 1944. East Indies 1945. (Note, ANCXF is the Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force, leading up to D-day and beyond.)
Built by: Henry C. Grebe and Co., Chicago, Illinois, United States (On Lake Michigan).
Laid down: 23 January 1943.
Launched: 29 July 1943.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 15 October 1943.
Returned to USA: May 1948. Sold to Germany and re-named Rudolf Diesel, Y889
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.
15 October 1943, completed.
21 to 29 Dec 1943, Charleston, South Carolina, United States.
3 to 8 Jan 1944, Bermuda.
16 to 22 Jan 1944, Horta, Azores.
27 and 28 Jan 1944, Falmouth.
29 Jan 1944, Portsmouth.
BYMS 2179’s movements at this time shows she was involved in the D-day landings.
12 Sep 1944, Newhaven.
14 Sep 1944, Southend.
16 Sep 1944, Portland.
12 Dec 1944, Southend.
BYMS 2179’s movements at this time shows she was probably escorting convoys to supply the Allied armies in Europe.
29 Nov 1944, Aberdeen.
29 and 30 Nov, 1944, Methil,
1 and 2 Dec 1944, Humber.
3 Dec 1944, Thames Estuary. (A major anchorage for convoys)
6 to 8 Dec 1944, Portsmouth.
9 Jan 1945, Portsmouth.
16 Jan 1945, Ostend, Belgium.
22 March 1945. Rescues survivors from U.S. freighter Charles D. McIver which struck a mine in the Scheldt, leaving Antwerp, Belgium.
2 May to 5 June 1944, Ostend, Belgium.
5 and 6 June 1945, Harwich.
9 June 1945, Portland.
1 to 14 Sep 1945, Aberdeen.
15 Sep 1945, Lowestoft.
May 1948, returned to USA.
AWARDS FOR MINESWEEPING
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal. MID: Mention in Dispatches.
James Henry FISH, Lieutenant, BYMS 2279, 11 Dec 45. DSC awarded for Minesweeping - Wind-up ops Europe 1945.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Not on Navy Lists.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Tempy. Skipper, Lieut. A. L. Olesen (act) 27 May 44. (In Command)
Tempy. Skipper J. G. Armes, 16 Oct 43.
Tempy. Skipper, E. Stanley, 16 0ct 43.
Tempy. Skipper G. Drewery, 13 Jan 44.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Skipper, E. Stanley, 16 0ct 43.
Tempy. Skipper, G. Drewery 13 Jan 44.
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.
RETURN TO SHIP DATABASE.
RETURN TO FRONT PAGE.