Landing Craft in area cleared of mines waiting to assault Sword Beach.
D Day, 6 June 44. BYMS (British Yard Mine Sweepers) Nore Command Flotillas 150 and 165 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.
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 2252, Flotilla 165.
Built by: Weaver Shipyard, Orange, Texas, USA.
Laid down: 30 May 1942.
Launched: 24 June 1943.
Completed and transferred to Royal Navy: 29 September 1943.
Reclassified: HMS J-1052 later HMS BYMS-2252.
Assigned to the Nore Command, Flotilla 165.
Took part in the D-day landings.
Signalman Arthur C Martin mentioned in Despatches
29 Sep 43 Completed.
5 and 6 Dec 43, Bermuda. Crossed Atlantic Ocean by the more southerly route from Bermuda to Horta in the Azores (Island group) and on to Southern England
14 and 15 Dec 43 Horta.
22 Dec 43 Falmouth.
24 Dec 43, Penzance.
26 Dec43, Portland.
27 Dec 43, Portsmouth.
29 Dec 43, Harwich.
2 Jan 44, Harwich.
2 to 28 Jan 44, Brightlingsea.
28 Jan to 28 April 44. Harwich.
29 April to 6 May 44, Portsmouth.
7 to 23 May 44, Harwich.
June 6th, D-Day BYMS 2252 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.
29 June 44, Portsmouth.
12 July 44, Portsmouth.
26 July 44, Nore
5 Sep 44, Harwich.
10 Oct 44, Sheerness
26 Oct to 1 Nov 44, Harwich.
2 November 1944. Force “A” came under heavy fire from the guns at Knokke on the south bank of the Scheldt estuary with four of the eight BYMS in 165 Flotilla being hit by shell fire. MARTIN, Arthur C, Signalman, LT/JX 175541 was killed by shore fire when sweeping the Scheldt Estuary.
3 Nov to 6 Nov Harwich.
15 Jan 45, Harwich.
8 April to 9 May 45 Harwich.
10 May to 6 July 45, Ostend. The winter of 1944–1945 was very harsh for the people of Holland. Food was cut off by the Germans and 18,000 people starved to death. Relief came at the beginning of May 1945 when minesweepers cleared Dutch ports of mines and ships carrying humanitarian aid arrived. Minesweepers, the first vessels to arrive in Dutch ports gave their food to Dutch children.
7 July to 24 July 45, Harwich.
24 July to 3 Sept 45, Ostend.
3 Sep 45 Harwich.
1946 at Pembroke.
10 June 47, returned to USA,
Jan 48, Sold to Greece.
DSC, Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Temp. Lieutenant Commander F. T. C. Stoneman.
DSC, Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Temp. Lieutenant Commander R. Gibson-Flemming for Minesweeping - for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.
MID, Mentioned in Despatches, awarded to Chief Engineman John Michael Grayley Neel.
MID, Mentioned in Despatches, awarded to Signalman Arthur C Martin , 1st January 1942.
Signalman Arthur C Martin's grave.
John Michael Grayley Neel, who was Chief Engineman on BYMS 2252 and was Mentioned in Despatches.
Arthur was killed by German Coastal artillery which fired on the Minesweepers as they attempted to clear mines from the Scheldt Estuary. The actions of the men on the minesweepers, by opening up the Port of Antwerp, shortened the war. 152 ships carrying cargos of supplies, fuel, ammunition, guns, tanks and troops arrived at Antwerp before the Battle of the Bulge commenced, influencing the battle in favour of the Allies.
Signalman Arthur C Martin
British Yard Mine Sweeper 2252.
Nore Command, World War Two 1939 to 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.
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.
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OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944
Temp. Lieut.-Com., R. N. V. R., F. T. C. Stoneman. DSC (act) 17 Mar 44 (In Command)
Temp. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., P. N. Taylor 10 Jan 44.
Temp. Act. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., J. W. Farrington 15 Apr 44.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945
Temp. Lieut.-Com., R. N. V. R., R. Gibson-Flemming, DSC (act) 27 July 44. (In Command)
Temp. Sub-Lieut, R. N. V. R., J. W. Farrington 15 Apr 44.
Watch these short videos about the Wildfire III Minesweepers.
D-day minesweepers: https://youtu.be/ZjlA5LxCAsg
Clearing the Scheldt: https://youtu.be/8ELsc9T3Lbw
The Relief of Holland: https://youtu.be/GghYEFHmOfY