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

OFFICERS from the Navy List June 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. J. Else. 15 Nov 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, P. E. L. Ehrke. 15 Nov 42.

OFFICERS from the Navy List June. 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. J. Else. 15 Nov 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, M. D. Hind. 27 July 43.

OFFICERS from the Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. J. Else. 15 Nov 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, M. D. Hind. 27 July 43.

OFFICERS from the Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, D. J. Else. 15 Nov 42.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, M. D. Hind. 27 July 43.

German Naval Officer's ceremonial dress dagger acquired by Russell at Cuxhaven Germany.

MMS 266 at work. If anyone knows what they're doing, please let us know.

Crew of Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 266 (above


Russell Walpole (Left)

MMS 266 at Queenborough Pier, Wildfire III, Mine Sweeper Base.

Photograph of crew Russell Walpole on the right.

MMS 266 crew taken at Cuxhaven (Germany )

Russell Walpole back right, B. Faulkner (second engineer) K. Mickley (stoker) D. E. Groves (bunts) and R. Liddle (sparks).

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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Joe Bell, (William Joseph Bell)

Photographs by kind permission of Sarah Parry whose Grandfather Joe Bell served on Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 266 during World War Two.

RUSSELL WALPOLE, Russell Walpole served on the Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 266 during World War Two. Russell would see service at Normandy, the Scheldt and finally at Cuxhaven.

During the D-day operations, Russel sustained an injury to his arm when swinging out a ship’s boat and was taken to hospital at Le Havre (France). He later was transferred to Haslar Naval Hospital at Gosport.

While based at Cuxhaven, clearing mines from the channels going into Hamburg, Russell acquired a German Naval Officer's ceremonial dress dagger. (pictured below)

When the war in Europe ended, Russell was to be sent to Australia, but when Japan surrendered, this was cancelled.

Photographs by kind permission of his son Michael Walpole.

Russell Walpole with a model of Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 266, on which he served.

Crew of Motor Minesweeper MSS 266.

MMS 266

Motor Minesweeper's were purpose built, wooden, shallow draft, minesweepers with both SA and LL sweeping capabilities. SA is Sweep Acoustic, a device similar to a Kanga Hammer which makes a loud thumping noise which explodes acoustic mines. LL (double L) is a pair of electric cables which are towed parallel to each other on floats and emit a strong electric pulse which generates a magnetic field which detonates magnetic mines.

Four Hundred and two Motor Minesweeper were built for the Royal Navy between 1940 and 1945.

Admiralty type; 1 to 118 and 123 to 313
Displacement      165 Tons
Length:                 105 Feet (32 metres)
Beam:                   23 Feet (7 metres)
Draft:                    9 feet 6 inches. (2.9 Metres)
Engine:                 Diesel. 500 BHP.
Speed:                  12.65 Miles per hour. (11 knots)
Complement:      20 Officers and men.
Armament:          Two 20 mm Anti-aircraft guns
                              Two machine guns.

Joe Bell, (William Joseph Bell)

Map of the isle of Sheppey where Wildfire III Minesweeper Base was situated. 

Joe Bell, (William Joseph Bell)