McKee, Fraser

Fraser McKee was born on Feb. 22, 1925 in Toronto, a city where he has lived most of his life. He grew up in the city’s north end, attending UCC and living a fairly good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Fraser’s father had a significant military pedigree; he was a major in the Signals Corps who went overseas right at the start of the war. Fraser recalls the planning sessions of his father and the other officers, and the hard work of his mother in the Signals Auxiliary. During the early part of the war, Fraser continued his education at UCC, where he was in the cadet corps.  When he turned 18, Fraser applied to Royal Roads, but as his student record was not all it could have been, he was turned down. . And it was at this time that the Royal Canadian Navy called, and Fraser answered the call, and within a month he was at basic training in London, and soon off to Kingston and Halifax. Fraser’s training was completed at HMCS Cornwallis. And he was assigned to the Vison, an armed motor yacht, and began doing coastal patrols around Nova Scotia.  Then Fraser was accepted to officer training, and he spent the early part of 1945 learning the many elements of his new job, leading to a posting on the HMCS Sackville, a corvette.  Fraser spent his war in and around Canada’s east coast, and as the war drew to an end, he was part of the war’s final convoy.  With the war behind him, Fraser did one additional year in the navy before he was demobilized. He then went to the University of Toronto, where he studied forestry.  Work then took him to Quebec for a few years, with his new wife, but Fraser decided that a life in the forests was not for him, so he took a job with Bell Canada, and returned to Toronto.  All the while, he stayed in the naval reserve, training on submarines and aircraft carriers when time permitted.

Fraser McKee was interviewed for this project by Scott Masters, who visited him in his home in Toronto in December 2019.