THOMAS E. FRASER, CDR, USN
Thomas Fraser '24
Date of birth: February 6, 1901
Date of death: November 15, 1942
From the 1924 Lucky Bag:
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Thomas Edward Fraser (NSN: 0-58890), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. WALKE (DD-416), and Acting Division Commander of the destroyers in the task force during an engagement with Japanese naval forces near Savo Island on the night of 14 - 15 November 1942. Captain Fraser led his ships into action against a numerically superior force of Japanese vessels and succeeded in diverting a torpedo attack against our heavy ships while at the same time inflicting grave damage to the Japanese forces. His inspiring leadership and the valiant devotion to duty of his command contributed in large measure to the outstanding success of these vital missions and reflect great credit upon the United States Naval Service.
Division: U.S.S. Walke (DD-416)
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 318 (September 1943)
Born in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, Fraser was appointed to the United States Naval Academy on 3 September 1920. After graduating on 4 June 1924, he served in USS Wyoming (BB-32) for nearly a year and studied torpedo warfare at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, before reporting for duty on board USS Worden (DD-288) on 17 January 1926. He served on that destroyer until 1 May 1930. Following assignments on USS Ellis (DD-154) and at the New York Navy Yard, Fraser reported on 1 March 1934 for duties in connection with the fitting out of USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37). Assignments to the Philadelphia and Portsmouth Navy Yards followed in the late 1930s.
During 1940 and 1941, he briefly commanded, in turn, destroyers USS Yarnall (DD-143), USS Claxton (DD-140), and USS Broome (DD-210). On 10 November 1941, he became commanding officer of USS Walke (DD-416) and on 20 August 1942, he was appointed to the temporary rank of commander.
USS Thomas E. Fraser (DD 736) was named for Thomas; the ship was sponsored by his widow.