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.
BYMS 2044, Flotilla 170 in 1943 and 1944, 152 in 1945.
Built by: Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Laid down: 9 April 1942
Launched: 26 November 1942
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 29 December 1942
Reclassified: named HMS J-844 later HMS BYMS-2044.
Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 170 in 1943.
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2044.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.
29 Dec 42, Completed.
18 March 43 Charleston
22 March 43 Norfolk, Virginia.
2b May 43 to 6 May 43, Trinidad.
14 May 43 Belem. Crossed the Atlantic from South America to West Africa.
25 Sep 43 Takoradi, Ghana.
29 Dec 43 Lagos.
10 Feb to 23 April 44 Takoradi, Ghana.
29 April to 10 May 44 Freetown.
12 to 14 May 44, Dakar.
21 and 22 May 44 Casablanca
23 May to 9 June 44 Gibraltar
20 and 21 June 44 Londonderry.
23 Sep 44 Cardiff.
30 Oct 44 Swansea.
1 Nov 44 Portsmouth.
3 Nov 44 Southend.
3 and 4 Nov 44 Great Yarmouth.
4 Nov 44 Humber.
13 June to 17 July 45 Humber.
21 Aug 45 Cuxhaven, Germany. Clearing mines from German ports to allow ships carrying humanitarian aid, for people close to starvation, to discharge their cargoes.
29 Aug 45 Cuxhaven, Germany
30 Aug 45 Humber.
1946 at Devonport.
1947 at Falmouth.
28 Feb 48, sold to Finland.
BYMS 2044 renamed the Purunpaa after being sold to Finland.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943,
Temp. Lieut. R.N.R. W. C. Base 24 June 42
Temp. Lieut. R.A.N.V.R. C. Thompson July 42
Temp.Sub-Lieut., R.N.V.R. E. L. Hallett 1 Oct 42
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., C. W. G. Starr. (In Command) 24 July 43
Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., E. L. Hallett 1 Oct 42.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., E. C. G. Cleare, 25 Feb 45.
Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., E. L. Hallett 1 Oct 42
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.
JAMES BEDWELL. By kind permission of his son, John Bedwell.
James Bedwell was the signalman on board the British Yard Minesweeper BYMS 2044. James sailed to the USA where BYMS 2044 was handed over to the Royal Navy at Charleston.
During trials, BYMS 2044 was found to be unstable and before they could leave Charleston, rolling chocks were fitted to help with stabilization. BYMS left Charleston accompanied by BYMS 2043 and BYMS 2046.
BYMS 2044, BYMS 2043 and BYMS 2046 sailed down to Miami, then Port of Spain-Trinidad, then on to Belem on the Amazon Delta-Brazil, before crossing the Atlantic to Freetown-Sierra Leone.