Dutch Navy after WW2, steaming in formation, HNLMS Westerschelde MV 39, (BYMS 2046) Vliestroom (MV 38) and Texelstroom (MV 37)
BYMS 2046 before her re-classification.
BYMS, British Yard Mine Sweeper were all built to the same design. The only variation was one of appearance in the number of exhaust stacks. They were fitted with an Acoustic “hammer” on the bow to sweep for acoustic mines and a drum on the stern for the LL cables to sweep magnetic mines.
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British Yard Mine Sweeper 2046.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.
3 Feb 43 Completed.
2 May 43, Trinidad.
13 May to 5 June 43 Belem, Brazil. Crossed the Atlantic from South America to West Africa.
23 June to 7 Dec 43 Freetown, Sierra Leone.
10 May 44 Freetown.
12 to 14 May Dakar.
21 and 22 May Casablanca.
9 June Gibraltar.
20 and 21 June 44 Londonderry.
3 Nov 44 Swansea.
5 and 6 Nov 44 Portsmouth.
8 Nov 44 Portsmouth.
15 Nov 44 Portsmouth.
15 Nov to 1 Dec 44 Dover.
1 to 15 Dec 44 Ostend. Clearing mines from Dutch ports to allow ships carrying humanitarian aid, for people close to starvation, to discharge their cargoes.
15 Dec 44 Dover.
16 Dec 44 Dover.
16 Dec 44 Portsmouth.
17 Dec 44 to 7 Jan 45 Dover.
19 Feb 45 Southend.
19 Feb 45 Ostend.
1946 in Holland.
March 47. Returned to United States Navy and sold to Holland.
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 2046, Flotilla 170/152 in 1943, 167/180 in 1944 (known to be in 170 in June 44) 167 in 1945.
Built by: Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Laid down: 10 April 1942
Launched: 19 July 1942
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 3 Feb 43 Completed.
Reclassified: HMS J-846, later HMS BYMS-2046.
Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 170 in 1943.
Henry James Willis, known as Harry, travelled to meet BYMS 2046 as the replacement radio operator. He crossed the Atlantic to Newfoundland and was transported down the east coast of the US, through Trinidad to Recife in Brazil, joining the ship there. At Recife, he took over from an injured/ill radio operator. He then returned to England via West Africa. He was subsequently posted to Motor Gunboats (MGB 91) and operated out of Lowestoft.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943,
Temp Lieut., R.N.R., E. Wright 20 Apr 42
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R. D. K. Gwynn 28 Aug 42
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., H. E. Buttery (act) 6 Sept 42
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., H. E. Buttery (act) 6 Sept 42.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., N. Hardcastle 15 Aug 43 (In Command)