BYMS 2038
British Yard Mine Sweeper 20038
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.

Harold Marshall Wade

BYMS 2038, BYMS 2036 and BYMS 2042 at Terschelling Island harbour, Netherlands. Dutch Navy, 1949.

7 OCTOBER 1943, Crew of the BYMS 2038. Their first shot in anger bought down an enemy plane, Lieut E W Beavers, RNR, of South Shields is the gunnery officer.

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.


Click here.

Click here.


Completed 30 April 1943
18 May 43, Norfolk (USA)
20 May to 17 July 43, Charleston
25 July 43, Boston
28 to 30 July 43, Halifax.
1 to 8 Aug 43, St John’s. Crossed Atlantic Ocean from Canada to the U.K.
16 October 43, Londonderry.
7 October 1943, shot down an enemy plane.
21 Aug 43, Inverness.
21 Aug 43, Great Yarmouth.
3 Aug 44, Southend.
30 Aug 44, France.
1 Sep 44, Needles.
3 Sep 44, Needles.
4 and 5 Sep 44, Plymouth.
22 Sep 44, Falmouth.
2 Nov 44, Sheerness. 157th Flotilla BYMS were shelled from shore when they reached Cadzand (Holland) close to the Scheldt estuary mouth.
2 Dec 44, Southend.
2 to 13 Dec 44, Harwich.
3 Dec 44 to 18 Feb 45, Great Yarmouth.
25 Feb 45, Sheerness.
25 Feb to 10 March 45, Great Yarmouth.
9 May 45 Ostend. The winter of 1944–1945 was very harsh for the people of Holland. Food was cut off by the Germans and 18,000 people starved to death. Relief came at the beginning of May 1945 when minesweepers cleared Dutch ports of mines and ships carrying humanitarian aid arrived. Minesweepers, the first vessels to arrive in Dutch ports gave their food to Dutch children.
21 June 45, Ostend.
12 Sep 45, Invergordon.
12 and 13 Sep 45, Harwich.
13 Sep 45 Brightlingsea
10 March 46, loaned to Holland.
27 July 47 returned to USA sold to Holland.

D.S.M. Distinguished Service Medal  awarded to Skipper G. H. Douse.

Left to right: Sub Lieutenant W Wood, RNR, of Aberdeen; Lieut H D T Birch, RNR (Skipper); Lieut F W Beavers, RNR, of South Shields (Gunnery Officer).

Skipper Lieut, R. N. R., H. D. T. Birch (act), Sept 43 (In Command)
Temp. Skipper, R. N. V. R., R. J. Turrell, 7 Feb 44.

Skipper Lieut, R. N. R., H. D. T. Birch (act), Sept 43 (In Command)
Skipper  R. N. R., G. H. Douse, DSM 1 Apr 45.
Temp. Skipper, R. N. V. R., R. J. Turrell, 7 Feb 44.

BYMS 2038. Flotilla 157 in 1943 and 44. 167 in 1945.

Built by: Barbour Boat Works, New Bern, North Carolina, USA.
Laid down:  14 May 1942.
Launched: 30 September 1942.
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 30 April 1943.
Reclassified: HMS J-838 later HMS BYMS-2038.

Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 157.

HAROLD WADE.  Engineman Harold Marshall Wade served on BYMS 2033 which was part of 162nd Mine Sweeping Flotilla.

BYMS 2033 was transferred to the Royal Navy on 4th June 1943. And Harold would have sailed to America (possibly in the Queen Mary) to pick up BYMS 2033 and sail her back across the Atlantic where it served in the Mediterranean including, Gibraltar, Malta and Alexandria. (Egypt)

Harold Marshall Wade was transferred to BYMS 2038 and took part in opening up the Scheldt Estuary the most complicated and dangerous minesweeping operation of WW2. On the 2 Nov 44, 157th Flotilla BYMS were shelled from shore when they reached Cadzand (Holland) close to the Scheldt estuary mouth. The men of the minesweeper undertaking this operation are credited with shorting the war, by opening up the port of Antwerp. (Just before the start of the Battle of the Bulge.)

On the 22nd March 1946, after spending some time in Hospital, Harold Marshall Wade was discharged as being “physically unfit for naval service”. Sadly, Harold died a short time later.


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 2038 after sold to the Netherlands in July 1947.

Watch these short videos about the Wildfire III Minesweepers.
D-day minesweepers:
Clearing the Scheldt:
The Relief of Holland: