HMS Crescent was built at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, and commissioned in the Royal Navy in 1931. Six years later she was re-commissioned as the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Fraser, a River class destroyer.
She was a busy vessel and a major part of Canada’s fledgling navy in the opening months of the war. In late June 1940 HMCS Fraser and Restigouche and the light cruiser HMS Calcutta were sent to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, a small port near the Spanish border where thousands of British, French and Polish troops had fled the advancing German Army. On the return trip with 44 soldiers aboard, the Fraser badly executed a manoeuvre to bring herself in line with the other vessels in the convoy and was sliced in two by the much larger Calcutta 19440625. At least 47 sailors and an unknown number of troops were lost, among them DA Carlton, JE Cook, MC Ford, H Kowbel, GH McLachlan, WG Ross, HA Sciban, S Senyk, CD Smith and DF Wagar. See also HMCS Margaree.