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THE FINAL VOYAGE OF CANADIAN DESTROYER

HMCS FRASER

On 6 September 2010, former HMCS Fraser left Halifax, Nova Scotia and began her last voyage. She was being towed to Port Colborne, Ontario where she was broken up. And what a slow death it was. Piece by piece, she was torn apart until nothing was left of the proud ship.

 

HMCS Fraser was commissionned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 28 June 1957 and served until 5 October 1994. She is the last survivor of the St. Laurent Class Destroyers which played a major role in Canada's defence during the Cold War. Unfortunately, none of these beautiful ships were preserved as a museum. HMCS Fraser spent 12 years in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, waiting for funding to convert her into a museum, but the funding never materialized and the ship suffered from neglect. The Canadian Navy took her back last year and decided to send her to the scrapyard. There was an outcry from Navy Veterans who preferred that she becomes an artificial reef if the funding could not be found to convert her into a ship museum. But the Navy decided otherwise and Fraser is now doomed.

 

This is a sad day indeed for Canada. None of the Restigouche Class Destroyers (DDE) and none of the St. Laurent Class Destroyers (DDH) were saved. HMCS Fraser is the last one !!! My old ship HMCS Gatineau is presently more that 90% dismantled and lies in pieces at Pictou, Nova Scotia along with her sister HMCS Terra Nova. HMCS Fraser will soon be in the same situation in an Ontario scrapyard. When all these beautiful ships are gone, only books, photos and memories will remain of the best submarine hunters of the Cold War.

 

OLD SHIPS DON'T DIE

THEY JUST FADE AWAY !!!!


As I write this text, Fraser has not yet reached her final destination. It took about one week to travel from Halifax to Montreal. She had to stop in Montreal for 2 days due to engine problems with the tug. She departed early this afternoon and she should be near Cornwall, Ontario at this moment.

 

I took some photos of Fraser as she went through the St. Lawrence Seaway locks near Montreal. Here are the photos I took. I also include a few photos taken by others in Halifax and as Fraser went up the St. Lawrence River.

 

Donald Courcy

15 September 2010.


6 September 2010 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Fraser departing Halifax for the last time. We can see CSS Acadia in the background. Sackville would normally have been in the background but she was moved before Hurricane Earl hit Halifax two days prior to departure. Thank you Mac Mackay for the photo.


6 September 2010 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Fraser departing Halifax for the last time. Thank you Mac Mackay for the photo.


6 September 2010 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Fraser departing Halifax for the last time - Towed by tug Tony Mackay


12 September 2010 - Fraser going up the St. Lawrence River

Tug Tony MacKay up front and tug Vigilant I astern. Note # 233 on the starboard side of Fraser


13 September 2010 - Fraser going up the St. Lawrence River

Note # 233 is missing on the port side of Fraser


13 September 2010 - Fraser going up the St. Lawrence River


13 September 2010 - Fraser approaching Montreal

Tug Tony MacKay pulling in front and tug Vigilant I steering astern


13 September 2010 - Fraser resting in the Port of Montreal

Delay due to tug Tony Mackay experiencing engine problems


15 September 2010 - Fraser waiting to enter the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser entering the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the St. Lambert lock

As a former crew of HMCS Gatineau, I had to witness the final voyage of HMCS Fraser.

Quoting from the movie "Taking Chance":

"WITHOUT A WITNESS, IT NEVER WAS"


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock

As a former crew member of HMCS Gatineau, I salute HMCS Fraser.

Both ships served together in the Fifth Canadian Destroyer Squadron back in the late 1960s before I volunteered for submarine service. Gatineau and Fraser were the best submarine hunters at the time. Gatineau is now almost 100% dismantled at Pictou, Nova Scotia and Fraser will soon suffer the same fate in Ontario. Both ships will live forever in my memories.


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the St. Lambert lock

Tug Vigilant I making sure Fraser does not hit the walls


15 September 2010 - Fraser approaching the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser in the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock


15 September 2010 - Fraser sailing into the sunset and toward a certain death.

A sad day for Canada.

Farewell old girl !!!

OLD SHIPS DON'T DIE

THEY JUST FADE AWAY !!!!


16 September 2010 - Fraser somewhere in the St. Lawrence Seaway between Prescott and Brockville, Ontario.

Thank you D. Purcell for the photo


To end this page on a positive note, here is a couple of photos of Fraser during her glorious days.

Thank you Jim Brannen for these photos.

 


Click here to view photos of HMCS Fraser taken by Al Simpson during the Nato Trip of 1980-1981

 

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