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, 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.
10 Aug 43, Completed.
23 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.
22 to 25 Nov 43, Milford Haven.
29 Nov 43, Southend.
1 Dec 43, Harwich.
9 Dec 43, Lowestoft.
17 May 44, Lowestoft.
17 to 23 May 44, Harwich.
June 6th, D-Day BYMS 2167 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.
26 June to 5 July 44, Harwich.
25 June 44, France. Captain of Minesweepers.
5 July 44, Southend.
26 July 44 Portsmouth.
18 Sep 44, Le Havre. As the army advance overland taking the ports, the minesweepers cleared the mines from them.
20 Jan 45, Southend.
18 June 8 July 45, Humber.
11 July to 20 Aug 45, Bremen. Germany. Although the War in Europe is over, mines still need clearing from German harbours and ports.
21 Aug 45, Cuxhaven. (Hamburg Germany.) It was necessary to ensure the Elba was cleared as quickly as possibly as considerable quantities of food would be required if Germany was to avoid starvation.
21 and 22 Aug 45, Lowestoft.
27 Aug 45, Grimsby.
7 Sep 45, Lowestoft.
1947, returned to the USA and sold on the 13 June 1948 for commercial use. Renamed Valldal.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944,
Temp. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., P. M. Wigzell, 22 Dec 43.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., P. M. Wigzell, 22 Dec 43.
BYMS 2167 converted to a Ferry, MV Valldall in Geirangerfjord, Norway.
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BYMS 2167. Flotilla 163.
Built by: Dachel-Carter Shipbuilding Corp., Benton Harbour, Michigan (Lake Michigan) USA.
Laid down: 5 August 1942
Launched: 12 June 1943
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 10 Aug 43,
Reclassified: HMS J-967 later HMS BYMS-2167.
Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 163.
Took part in the D-day landings.
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2167.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.