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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Thomas E. Fraser (MMD 24)

Call sign:
November - Hotel - Hotel - Sierra

Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer/Robert H. Smith Light Minelayer:

  • Laid down 31 January 1944 as DD-736 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
  • Launched 10 June 1944
  • Reclassified as a Light Minelayer, DM-24, 19 July 1944
  • Delivered and commissioned USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM-24), 4 August 1944
  • Damaged in collision with Elk (IX 115) off Okinawa 15 July 1945
  • Decommissioned 12 September 1955 at Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Reclassified as a Fast Minelayer, MMD-24, 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 November 1970
  • Sold for scrap 12 June 1974 by the Defense Supply Agency, Defense Property Disposal Service, to Northern Metals of Philadelphia, PA.


  • Displacement 2,380 t.(lt), 3370 t.(fl)
  • Length 376' 6"
  • Beam 40' 10"
  • Draft 18' 10"
  • Speed 34 kts.
  • Complement 363
  • Armament: Three twin 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, six twin 40mm gun mounts, eleven 20mm guns, two .50 cal. machine guns, two depth charge tracks, and four depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Four Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two 60,000shp General Electric geared turbines, two shafts.
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    Size Image Description Source
    Thomas Edward Fraser
    Thomas E. Fraser 116k Thomas Edward Fraser—born on 6 February 1901 in Stafford Springs, Conn.—was appointed to the United States Naval Academy on 3 September 1920. After graduating on 4 June 1924, he served in Wyoming (BB-32) for nearly a year and studied torpedo warfare at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., before reporting for duty on board Warden (DD-288) on 17 January 1926. He served in that destroyer until 1 May 1930. Following assignments in 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 Tuscaloosa (CA-37). Assignments to the Philadelphia and Portsmouth Navy Yards followed in the late 1930's.

    During 1940 and 1941, he briefly commanded, in turn, destroyers Yarnall (DD-143), Claxton (DD-140), and Broome (DD-210). On 10 November 1941, he became commanding officer of Walke (DD-416); and, on 20 August 1942, he was appointed to the temporary rank of commander.

    On the night of 14 and 15 November 1942, Walke was a part of Rear Admiral Willis Augustus Lee's Task Force 64, when it encountered a large Japanese force off Savo Island attempting to bring reinforcements to Guadalcanal. Acting as the senior commander of the four destroyers of the task force, CDR Fraser boldly led them into action against the numerically superior Japanese force. The torpedoes and heavy gunfire of the Japanese vessels took a devastating toll of the American destroyers; and, shortly after midnight, CDR Fraser gave the order to abandon Walke. He was lost in the ensuing action and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his valor and devotion to duty


    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.

    Bill Gonyo
    USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM 24)
    Thomas E Fraser 48k - -
    Thomas E Fraser 111k - USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM 24)
    Thomas E Fraser 47k
    Thomas E Fraser 36k
    Thomas E Fraser 44k
    Thomas E Fraser 35k Shannon (DM-25), Bauer (DM-26), Fraser and Shea (DM-30)
    Thomas E. Fraser 171k Steve Drawdy
    Thomas E. Fraser 110k Viewed from the starboard side in Boston Harbor on 25 September 1944, in camouflage Measure 32/25d. The colors are dull black, ocean gray and light gray
    National Archives photo 80-G-382825, courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Mike Green
    Thomas E Fraser 54k 26 September 1944
    Underway off Boston, MA
    National Archives photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection
    Joe Radigan
    Thomas E Fraser 215k Original photo: c. 1944.
    U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
    Replacement photo: Aerial photo of Thomas E. Fraser in the Atlantic on 27 September 1944, in camouflage 32/25d. Notice the mines racks are loaded
    National Archives photo 80-G-282662, courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Mike Green
    Thomas E Fraser 48k c. August 1945
    Highline between Fraser and Grimes (APA-172)
    USS Thomas E. Fraser (DM 24)
    Thomas E. Fraser 76k Naval cover Cachet dated 23 January 1947 Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 18 January 2021
    ex-Thomas E. Fraser (MMD 24)
    Thomas E. Fraser 568k c. May 1974
    Portsmouth, NH
    Ron Reeves

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Ronald Joseph Woodman, USN - USNA Class of 193122 August 1944 - 26 July 1945
    02CDR Nevett Brooke Atkins, USN - USNA Class of 193626 July 1945 - July 1946
    03CDR Burdick Heinkel Brittin, USNDecember 1952 - February 1954
    ??CDR Lewis Edwin Davis, Jr., USN - Retired as Captain
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Thomas E. Fraser (MMD-24)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    NavSource Destroyer Pages, USS Thomas E. Fraser (DD-736)
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Fast Minelayer (MMD) Photo Index

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