SKIPPER ALAN H. HATTON.

Thank you to Daniel Evans for sending us her Grandfather’s Deck Log. These are very rare indeed, as following WW2, almost all the records of the so called “lesser vessels of war” which included minesweepers ,were simply thrown away.

Alan’s Deck Log shows that on Monday June 5th, 13:10, the day before D-day, the wind was fresh and strong from the west-south-west. And of course, the weather was a problem with D-day being first postponed and then heavy sea causing problems for the landing craft, especially for the DD (amphibious) tanks.

On D-day at 04:00, it records heavy bombing of beaches and defences. At 06:00  on the same morning, BYMS 2059 swept HM Destroyer Unania into her firing position.

Perhaps most alarming of all, at 07:00, BYMS 2059 was within one mile of coast well within range of most enemy shore guns.

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.

Contact: johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk

RETURN TO SHIP DATABASE.
Click here.

RETURN TO FRONT PAGE.
Click here.

RICHARD “Dickie” CORD

Thank you to Richard Cord for sending us this information about his father, Richard Cord, who served on British Yard Mine Sweeper BYMS 2059 on D-day.

Interviewed for the 50th Anniversary of the D-day landings, Dickie recounts how BYMS 2059 swept 23 mines in two and a half minutes. While operating of the Normandy Beaches BYMS 2059 swept 60 mines, 25 of these off La Havre.

He remembers HMS Warspite firing shells over their heads and bodies floating in the sea.

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. 

Watch these short videos about the Wildfire III Minesweepers.
Minesweepers:
https://youtu.be/aTsYiZFzv5M
D-day minesweepers:
https://youtu.be/ZjlA5LxCAsg
Clearing the Scheldt:
https://youtu.be/8ELsc9T3Lbw
The Relief of Holland:
https://youtu.be/GghYEFHmOfY 

​MOVEMENTS.

30 Aug 43, Completed.
24 Oct 43, Charleston.
27 to 30 Oct, 43, Bermuda. Crossed Atlantic Ocean by the more southerly route from Bermuda to Horta in the Azores (Island group) and on to Southern England.
8 Nov 43 Horta.
16 to 21 Nov 43 Londonderry.
21 to 25 Nov 43 Milford Haven.
June 6th, D-Day BYMS 2059 was sweeping off Gold 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.
During this time BYMS 2059 swept 60 mines in the Bay of the Seine (Off the D-day landing beaches) 25 of these off La Havre.
3, 17, 31 July 44, Portsmouth.
28 Aug 44, Portsmouth.
1 to 6 Sep 44, Newhaven.
6 Sep 44, Dieppe. As the army advance overland taking the ports, the minesweepers cleared the mines from them.
11 Sep 44 Portsmouth.
13 Sep 44, France BAA.
30 Sep to 4 Oct 44, Portsmouth.
16 Oct 44, Captain of Minesweepers.
16 to 21 Oct 44, Portsmouth.
22 Oct 44, Portsmouth.
20 Oct to 6 Nov 44, Portsmouth.
13 Nov to 17 Nov 44 Portsmouth.
17 Jan to 6 Feb 45, Great Yarmouth.
6 Feb 45 Southend.
8 Feb 45, Portsmouth.
19 July 45, Southampton.
21 July to 3 Sep 45, Swansea.
9 Sep to 15 Sep 45, Gibraltar.
To SE Asia. Lost en-route to Subic, Philippines.


Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Temp. Skipper Lieutenant P. J. May.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944,
Temp. Skipper Lieut, R. N. R., P. J. May, DSC (act) In Command, 23 Mar 44.
Temp. Skipper, R. N. R., A. H. Hatton 30 Aug 43.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Skipper Lieut, R. N. R., R. T. Souter (act), May 45 (In Command)
Temp. Skipper, R. N. R., E. W. Hunter 2 May 45
Temp. Skipper, R. N. R., J. M. Osborne 2 May 45
 

Deck Log of Skipper Alan H. Hatton. 

RICHARD “Dickie” CORD

Streaming the L.L. (Double L) sweeping gear used to detonate magnetic ground mine. (Called ground mines because the sit on the sea bed and do not float.)

BYMS 2059, Flotilla 150 in 43 and 44, 181/182 in 45.

Built by: Westergard Boat Works, Inc., Biloxi, Mississippi, USA.
Laid down:  4 May 1942
Launched: 6 February 1943
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 30 August 1943
Reclassified: HMS J-859 later HMS BYMS-2059.

Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 150.

Took part in the D-day landings, Gold Beach.
 

​BYMS 2059
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2059.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.