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

BYMS 2161
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2161.
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. 

9 Aug 43, Completed.
6 Oct 43, Charleston.
1 Nov 43, Halifax.
3 Nov to 9 Dec 43 St John’s. Crossed Atlantic Ocean from Canada to the U.K.
22 Dec 43 Falmouth.
26 Dec 43 Portland.
27 Dec 43 Portsmouth.
29 Dec 43 Portsmouth.
29 and 30 Dec 43 Harwich.
25 Jan to 28 April 44 Harwich.
28 April to 9 June 44 Lowestoft.
9 June to 10 July 44 Harwich.
18 July 44 Harwich.
24 to 31 July 44 Lowestoft.
31 July to 1 Aug 44 Harwich.
1 to 23 August 44 Southend.
23 Aug 44 Portsmouth.
18 Sep 44 Le Havre. Clearing mines at French ports and along the French coast.
18 to 30 Sep 44 Portsmouth.
1 Oct 44 Dover.
28 Oct 44 Ramsgate.
28 Oct to 3 Dec 44 Lowestoft.
4 Dec 44 Aberdeen.
20 April 45 Aberdeen
22 April to 9 May 45 Great Yarmouth.
25 June 45 Copenhagen.
25 June to 29 June 45 Kiel, Germany. Clearing mines from German ports to allow ships carrying humanitarian aid, for people close to starvation, to discharge their cargoes.
30 June 45 Hamburg.
7 July to 4 Sep 45, Plymouth for S. E. Asia.
1946 with Force 11 Malaya.
12 Nov 46 Returned to United States Navy.
Oct 47, Sold.

MID, Mentioned in Despatches was awarded to Lt RNVR Vivian Adams MAWSON for Minesweeping 
​First MID awarded for coming under air attack on HMT Berberis (M/S)
Second MID awarded for courage and skill in minesweeping operations in the approaches to Le Havre on BYMS 2161

BYMS 2161. Flotilla 163 in 1944, 182 in 1945.

Built by: Burger Boat Co., Manitowoc, Wisconsin, (Lake Michigan) USA.
Laid down:  1 December 1942.
Launched: 3 April 1943.
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 9 August 1943.
Reclassified: HMS J-961 later HMS BYMS-2161.

Assigned the Nore Command, Flotilla 136 in 1943, (known to be there in June 44) 181 in 1944 and 182 in 1945

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.

Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., V. A. Mawson   Jan 44 (In Command.)
Temp. Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R., F. W. Willey 31 Jan 44.

Temp. Lieut. R.N.V.R., V. A. Mawson   May 45.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R., F. W. Willey 31 Jan 44
Temp. Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R., A. D. Marston, May 45.

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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