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

Watch a short video about the Biber Submarine

​BYMS 2213
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2213.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 1945.


17 June 43, Completed.
14 Aug 43, New York.
20 and 21 Aug 43, Halifax.
23 Aug to 4 Sep 43 St John’s. Crossed Atlantic Ocean from Canada to the U.K.
11 Sep 43, Londonderry
1 Nov 43, Great Yarmouth.
3 Aug 44, Great Yarmouth.
3 Aug 44 Sheerness.
30 Aug 44, France.
1 Sep 44, Needles.
1 Sep 44, Plymouth.
3 Sep 44, Portsmouth.
14 Sep 44, Plymouth.
15 Sep 44, Portsmouth,
16 Sep 44, Dover.
16 Sep 44, Thames.
12 Oct 44, Southend.
12 Oct to 14 Nov 44, Great Yarmouth.
2 November 1944.  helped in clearing the Scheldt of mines, the most crucial minesweeping event of WW2.The 157th Flotilla BYMS of which BYMS 2213 was part, was shelled from shore when they reached Cadzand (Holland) close to the Scheldt estuary mouth.
24 Nov 44, Southend.

26 December 1944. Three British Yard Minesweepers, BYMS 2213, 2141 and 2221, from Flotilla 157th (Force “A” from Wildfire III, Queenborough) were carrying out a night sweep when BYMS 2221 reported sighting a periscope on her port side. At the same time BYMS 2213 reported a periscope on her starboard.

U-boats were rare in the shallow waters off the Dutch coast and it was expected the periscopes were from midget, one man, “Biber” (German for Beaver) submarines.  Biber’s were armed with two torpedoes, while the BYMS’s did not carry depth charger. BYMS 2141 and 2221 gave chase to the target on their port side with BYMS 2213 going to starboard.

As the Biber attempted to avoid the minesweepers, BYMS 2141 rammed it but only managed a glancing blow. BYMS 2221 also managed to ram the Biber but with little effect. Both minesweepers then fired on the Biber with their Oerlikon guns and small arms.

The Biber having been hit a number of times came to a halt on the surface. To be sure of its catch, BYMS 2141 ensnared the Biber in its “LL” cable. Using their cable winch, they pulled the Biber in to its stern. An attempt was made to tow the Biber, but the tow wire snapped and the Biber sank.

To starboard, BYMS 2213 chased her Biber. As BYMS 2213 made her ramming run, the hatch opened and its only crew member got out and began waving his arms.

BYMS 2213 hit the Biber and it rolled under her bow to reappear at her stern and sink. The survivors were rescued and taken prisoner.

German records show that these two Biber’s were amongst other which had left Dutch ports at 0200 in the early morning of 26 December 1944 with orders to attack shipping off Flushing in the Scheldt.

26 Feb 45 Southend.
26 Jan to 28 Feb, 45, Great Yarmouth.
9 May 45, Ostend. Clearing mines from Dutch and German ports to allow ships carrying humanitarian aid, for people close to starvation, to discharge their cargoes.
28 Aug 45, Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth.
1946. Pembroke.
14 May 48 Returned to United States Navy.

Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., L. S. Hardy, 3 Oct 43. (In Command)
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., J. H. Morrison (act) 28 June 43.

Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., L. S. Hardy, 3 Oct 43. (In Command)
Temp. Lieut, R. N. V. R., R. J. Lord, 12 Aug 44.

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BYMS 2213, Flotilla 157 43 and 44, Flotilla 169, 45.
Built by: Robert Jacobs Inc., City Island, New York, USA.
Laid down:  13 June 1942
Launched:  13 November 1942
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 17 June 1943
Reclassified: HMS J-1013 later HMS BYMS-2213.

Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 157

British Yard Mine Sweepers clearing the Scheldt of mines.

One-man Biber Submarines carried two torpedo's. 


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.