Since 2016 the NAS has been working alongside other interested parties on the remains of what is believed to be a World War II Motor Minesweeper 113. The remains of the vessel lie on the Gosport foreshore on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour. NAS members are helping to record and research the remains of this piece of military heritage.

Image: The MMS 113 at sunrise (courtesy of Massimiliano Finzi, September 2018)


Motor Minesweepers (MMS) were wooden vessels designed to carry out inshore, shallow water minesweeping of "influence mines" (magnetic and acoustic mines).  A total of four hundred and two MMS were constructed for the Royal Navy in 1942 and 1943.  

MMS’s were built in two classes, the larger vessels (MMS-1001 class) were 127 feet long (38.7m), displaced 360 tons, and were numbered MMS 1001 through to MMS 1090, while the smaller vessels were 105 feet long (32m) (MMS-1 class), displaced 256 tons and were numbered MMS 1 through 312. 

Above: Thought to be Motor Minesweeper No.15

The two types of standard MMS were nicknamed as "Mickey Mouse Sweepers”, due to their type abbreviation, with the smaller ones known as "Short Mickey's" and the larger class known as "Big Mickey's" (David Fricker pers comm. 2009; Melvin 1992: 123). The vessels of these classes served under their pennant numbers and did not have individual names.

Above:  The stern of Motor Minesweeper No.1102


In 2017 the NAS and our friends from the CITiZAN Project surveyed the remains using a drone and digital camera to create a 3D photogrammetry model of the wreckage. This digital model can be found on Sketchfab here.


We visit the remains every year to train volunteers how to record vessel remains using simple tape measures. Our site plan is progressing with half the vessel now recorded. 

Contact us to find out how to take part. Wellington boots highly recommended.....