When HMCS Fraser was lost in June 1940, the Canadian government moved quickly to purchase a replacement from the Royal Navy. HMS Diana was built at Hebburn-on-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, England, and commissioned in 1932. By 19400906 she had been re-commissioned as HMCS Margaree, a River class destroyer.
Her career was destined to be incredibly brief. Crewed mainly by survivors from the Fraser, the Margaree was the sole escort for a small fairly fast convoy of five ships heading for Halifax. Shortly after midnight 19401022, the Margaree veered to port and her entire bow section was sheered off by MV Port Fairy. The bow sank instantly taking 142 seamen to the bottom, 86 of them survivors of the collision of HMCS Fraser just four months earlier. No reason for the collision has ever been determined since all of the officers who were in a position to know were in the bow. The 34 survivors were all aboard the Margaree’s aft section, which remained afloat, and were dropped off at Bermuda by the Port Fairy.
Among the casualties were TM Baker, JG Brebber, WD Chedister, JW Cole, CE Fearey, RS Ferguson, KH Kyle, BA Lewis, WJ McAlister, DA McTaggart, RE Mylrea, CJ Olson, OA Olson, WD Robertson, T Standing, W Todos, DC Willis, SE Wood and A Young. The loss of the two destroyers so early in the war and both to collisions was a brutal shock for the Navy and the nation as a whole.