​MMS.44, J 544. Built by Richards Ironworks Ltd., Lowestoft, England. Commissioned 18 Sep 1941. 

13th November 1941. Detonated Mine out of action 3 weeks.

5 June 1944, (And rest of June) MMS 44 swept inshore off the Normandy (D-day) beaches.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 44 took part in “Operation Calendar Two”. Clearing the vital water way of the Scheldt Estuary of mines and opening up the port of Antwerp to resupply Allied troops with over stretched supply lines.

After sweeping the Scheldt, MMS 44 went on to Ijmuiden where the Germans were still close at hand.

The Cook, Scadeng recalls, “The men who went ashore found an abandoned German Officers Mess which was well stocked with wine and spirits. They all returned very, very drunk

MMS 44 as a car ferry in Norway. (Photo https://www.skipet.no) Photo via Viggo Nonaas.

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 exploded the acoustic mine. 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 detonated the magnetic mine.

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.

MMS 44.

Motor Minesweeper MMS 44 would have looked the same as her sister ship, MMS 192.
Note, the Acoustic “hammer” on the bow in the up position used to sweep for acoustic mines and the drum on the stern for the LL cables used to detonate 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.

Thank you.
Contact: johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk

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

Tennholmen lighthouse, Vestfjorden where the MMS 44 sunk in December 1955.

OFFICERS from Navy List December 1942
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieut. Com. RNVR. G. S Peyton. 10 June 42
Temp. Sub Lieutenant RNVR. D. R. Davis. 24 March 42

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Temp. Lieut. Com. RNVR. G. S Peyton. 10 June 42
Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. S. A. G. Nex. 1 March 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. G E Fox, in Command. 1 Dec 43

Temp. Sub Lieutenant. RNVR. S. A. G. Nex. 1 March 1943

Thank you to Steve Cooper for finding the following information at https://www.skipet.no

Following WW2, MMS 44 was sold to Norway where she was put to work as a car ferry.

(From the Norwegian translation)  MMS 44 was converted into the freighter FLATHOLM and TALARIA, but also came to serve as a car ferry. Talaria (MMS 44) leased to HSD as a car ferry in 1954. Photo via Viggo Nonaas.

April 1947. Edvard Taranger, Bergen, od FLATHOLM (LLZT)

November 1947. Delivered rebuilt as fishing/cargo vessel at Gravdals Skipsbyggeri,

January 1948. Ole-Jacob Meidell-Olsen, Oslo, od TALARIA

March 1948. Odd Andreassen, Stamsund/Oslo

1950. New engine: M2 120 bhp Union b41

1954. In the summer of 1954 leased to Hardanger Sunnhordlandske DS for ferry routes.

1956. New engine: 189g M7 280 bhp Blackstone b47.

December 1959. Wrecked 17 December 1959 at Tennholmen lighthouse, Vestfjorden, on a voyage from Trondheim to Harstad with general cargo. Crew of 5 saved.