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 2189, Flotilla 170 in 1943, 170/206 in 1944, 170 in 1945.

Built by: Greenport Basin and Construction Co., Greenport, Long Island, New York, USA.
Laid down:  25 August 1942.
Launched: 14 October 1942.
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 14 October 1942.
Reclassified: HMS J-98 9later HMS BYMS-2189.

Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 170 in 1945.

Took part in the D-day landings.

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943,
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., R. F. B. Beesley 1 May 43
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., W. S. Pritchard 1 May 43
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., J. B. Evans 1 May 43

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., R. F. B. Beesley 1 May 43
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., W. S. Pritchard 1 May 43
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., J. B. Evans 1 May 43

OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945
Temp. Lieut.-Com R. N. V. R., R. F. B. Beesley (Act) 1 May 43.  

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.

​BYMS 2189
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2189.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.

MOVEMENTS.

1 May 1943, Completed.
5 June 43, Boston.
7 June to 15 Oct 43, Halifax.
18 June 43, St John’s
22 Feb 44, St John’s.
22 Feb to 9 May 44, Halifax. Crossed the Atlantic to Horta in the Azores (Island group) and on to Northern Ireland and England.
19 May 44, Azores.
25 and 26 May 44, Londonderry.
27 May 44, Swansea.
D Day, 6 June 44.  BYMS (British Yard Mine Sweepers) Nore Command Flotillas 150 and 165 including BYMS 2189 were given the task of sweeping the inshore areas off the D-day landing beaches, especially the boat lanes between the transport areas and the beaches.
7 Sep 44, Falmouth.
9 and 10 Sep 44, Southend.
11 Sep to 31 Oct 44, Humber.
2 Nov 44, Sheerness.
In November 1944, BYMS 2189 helped in clearing the Scheldt of mines, the most crucial minesweeping event of WW2.
21 Dec 44, Humber.
13 June to 24 July 45 Humber.
26 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.
27 Aug 45 Humber.
29 Aug. 47 returned to United States Navy and sold.

BYMS clearing the Scheldt of mines. Photograph taken from BYMS 2189 and includes 2058, both Nore Command minesweepers.

Crew of the British Yard Minesweeper BYMS 2189 firing at a floating mine during the Royal Navy's clearing of the Scheldt to Antwerp. The objective was to sink the mine, not blow it up!

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  

​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

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