John Holden (left) and Robert Holden (right) who both lost their lives while serving on minesweepers

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

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.

MMS 81

John William Holden, LT/JX 177543, Leading Seaman was killed on the 4th May 1942 while serving on Motor Mine Sweeper MMS 81.

Sadly his brother Robert F. Holden, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 170701, was also killed  when German aircraft He111’s. attacked the minesweepers Fort Royal and Robert Bowen off Aberdeen, sinking them both.

Thank you to John Holden who sent the information about his cousin John William Holden. 

Motor Minesweeper MMS 25 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.

MMS 81, Built by George Forbes, Peterhead. Launched 6 November 1941, completed February 1942. Sold January 1946.
MMS 81 formed part of the 110th Minesweeping Flotilla, Nore Command.

17 April 1943, Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, Francis J, GREENHOUGH was killed in an accident.

Like many of the Wildfire III, Queenborough MMS 81 took part in the D- Day landings and “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.

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.

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OFFICERS from Navy List August 1942.
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Temp. Lieut., R.N.V.R., N. Strelley-Upton. 7 Jan 42.
Temp. Sub- Lieut., R.N.V.R., G. A. Emms.  7 Jan 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR, N. Strelley-Upton. 7 Jan 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List Dec. 1943.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, P. A. Watts. June 43.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  R. M. G. Webb (In Command) 6 Mar 44
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR, B. E. Fagan. 6 March 44.

OFFICERS from Navy List January 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  R. M. G. Webb (In Command) 6 Mar 44
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR. R. H. G. Teal. 11 Sep 44.

OFFICERS from Navy List July 1945.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR,  R. M. G. Webb (In Command) 6 Mar 44
Temp. Sub-Lieut. RNVR. R. H. G. Teal. 11 Sep 44.