9 Oct 43, Completed.
5 Dec 43 Bermuda. Crossed Atlantic Ocean by the more southerly route from Bermuda to Horta in the Azores (Island group) and on to Southern England.
12 to 15 Dec 43, Horta
22 Dec 43, Falmouth
21 Dec 43 Penzance
26 Dec 43, Portland
27 Dec 43, Portsmouth
28 Dec 43 Southend
29 Dec 43 Harwich.
1 to 5 May 44, Southend.
8 to 23 May 44, Harwich.
23 May 44, Southend.
June 6th, D-Day BYMS 2041 was sweeping off Sword Beach.
During the period from the 4 June 1944 (the day before D-day) to the end of July 1944 BYMS would have cleared pathways through the minefields to the Normandy Beachheads, cleared mines ahead of the Invasion Convoys, cleared mines from the ship assembly and disembarkation areas almost right up to the beaches, widened the cleared pathways and continuously swept for newly laid mines.
12 July 44, Portsmouth.
23 and 24 July 44 Southend
24 July to 10 Sep 44, Harwich.
10 Oct 44, Sheerness.
26 Oct to 1 Nov 44, Harwich.
2 November 1944. Force “A” came under heavy fire from the guns at Knokke on the south bank of the Scheldt estuary with four of the eight BYMS in 165 Flotilla being hit by shell fire. 2041 was hit in the mess deck.
Nov 5 Nov to 11 Nov 44, Harwich.
11 Nov 44 to 30 Nov 44, Ostend.
30 Nov 44 to 15 Jan 45 Harwich
9 May 45 Harwich.
10 May to 9 July 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.
26 July Harwich.
26 July 45 Hook of Holland.
3 Sep 45, Ostend.
3 Sep 45, Harwich.
 1946 at Sheerness. Laid up at Queenborough Pier, Wildfire III, Queenborough after WW2 waiting to be returned to the United States Navy or sold.
21 Oct 47 returned to USA and sold to Egypt.

Tom Ellis, aged 92, from Falmouth, remembers;

In 1943 Tom boarded the liner Queen Mary which took him to America. On the same ship was none other than Winston Churchill on his way to the United States to meet President Roosevelt.

The Queen Mary was a fast ship and as such could travel unescorted and not in convoy. To avoid U-boats she travelled at top speed and on a zig-zag course. Coming off the 12-4 a.m. watch Tom came across Winston Churchill on the promenade deck. Winston nodded and Tom nodded back.

Tom was on board the BYMS 2041 when she travelled back across the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S.A. to England.

June 6 1944, D-Day. Tom was on board BYMS 2041 off the Normandy beaches clearing the anchorage of mines. “Dawn came very slowly. This was the big one. What an amazing sight. To port, to starboard and astern an astonishing flotilla of ships of all shapes and sizes. What happened during the coming days is very hard for me to describe?

“We were minesweeping off the Sword Beach. Hunt class destroyers were bombarding the German gun emplacements. Shells from the battleship HMS Warspite further offshore whistled overhead. The noise was deafening. Scores of landing craft carrying thousands of very, very brave men headed towards the beaches. Some, as we know, paid the ultimate sacrifice for their king and country and, of course, our enduring freedom.”

Shortly after BYMS 2041 embarked with other ships on one of the most arduous and dangerous minesweeping operations of the war – clearing mines from 80 miles of the River Scheldt to open up the port of Antwerp, in Belgium.

MENTIONES IN DISPATCHES. A MID was awarded to Thomas​ ELLIS, Signalman, D/JX269300 while serving on BYMS 2041 for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.

Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., R. Gibson-Fleming 11 Oct 43 (In Command)
Temp. Lieut, (E) R. N. V. R., E. W. G. Phillips 24 Apr 44
Temp. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., W. P. Tanner, 11 Oct 43.

Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., G. Purnell 5 Sept 44 (In Command)
Temp. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., W. P. Tanner, 11 Oct 43.

Putting out board the towed box S. A. Gear (Sound Acustic) for sonar mines.

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

​​​BYMS 2041
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2041.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.


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 2041. Flotilla 165.
Built by: Barbour Boat Works, New Bern, North Carolina, USA.
Laid down:  15 October 1942
Launched: 15 June 1943
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 9 October 1943
Reclassified: HMS J-841 later HMS BYMS-2041.

Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 165.

Took part in the D-day landings.

​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.


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