As I once did, most people probably believe the name Fraser Squadron is derived from the name of the river that divides the communities our squadron serves. Well we were wrong!
The "Fraser" in Fraser Squadron is derived from Canadian Forces St. Laurent class destroyer the HMCS Fraser (DDH 233). The stag in the squadron burgee is in fact the HMCS Fraser's ship mascot.
HMCS Fraser began life at the Burrard Dry Dock and the Yarrows Shipyard and was commissioned at Esquimalt in 1957. For the first ten years or so of her her life she patrolled Pacific waters before moving to the east coast.
The Fraser was one of the first warships to be designed and built in Canada. The Fraser was the last of the St. Laurent class in active commission. Over the course of her working years she functioned as a destroyer escort, and a destroyer helicopter escort. She was used to demonstrate new Canadian designed technology and was the first Canadian ship to carry an Experimental Towed Array Sonar System and was the first to test the NIXIE torpedo decoy system.
In 1990 the HMCS Fraser was deemed surplus and donated to the Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia in 1998. Rather than sink the Fraser the ARSNS planned to open her as a museum ship. While there were many tours of the Fraser, insufficient funding delayed the conversion to a museum. In 2009 the Department of National Defence repurchased the Fraser with the initial intent of completing the restoration to museum ship state, a clause in the sale back to the government gave the ARSNS first option on the fate of the Fraser. Without consulting the ARSNS the government announced in August of 2010 the Fraser was to be sold as scrapped. Shortly after she was towed from Halifax to Port Colborne Ontario for scrapping.
A collection of photos and stories (including her final voyage up the St. Lawrence) from a fellow who served aboard the Fraser.
The HMCS Fraser (DDH 233) was the second warship to be named HMCS Fraser. The first HMCS Fraser (H48) was the Royal Canadian Navy C-class destroyer. The first Fraser was lost on June 25, 1940 as the result of a collision with the HMS Calcutta. In the postcard replica below you can see the stag that fundamental to our squadron penant and the HMSC Fraser (DDH 233).