454 and 459 RAAF Squadrons
Squadron Leader Donald D FRASER
454 RAAF Squadron
Service No: 400672
Date of Birth : 20 May 1918
Place of Birth : BALLAN, VIC
Date of Enlistment: 12 Oct 1940
Date of Discharge: 24 Sep 1945
Rank: Squadron Leader
Date of Death: 27 Jul 1997
S/Ldr Don Fraser – Pilot
F/Lt Charlie Matthews Nav.B
S/Ldr Lindsay (Woppy) Wardlaw
F/Sgt “Kanga” Davis WAG
A member of No.1 Course Empire Training Scheme at Ballarat and Point Pirie, Don Fraser arrived in the Middle East in July 1941. He joined 47 RAF Wellesley Squadron as Bomb Aimer and Gunner. He served in Abysinia until the Italians surrendered, then in Air Sea Rescue in the Mediterranean theatre. Realising his heavy build was unsuitable for operating a gun turret he reclassified for pilot training in Rhodesia, and was posted to 454 RAAF, after converting to Blenheims, then Baltimores.
After a period flying long range and some bombing sorties from Berka III at Benghasi, Don moved with 454 to medium level formation close support bombing for the 8th Army from Italian bases. He led many formation strikes. His crew completed their tour at Cesanatico, Italy. Such a varied air crew career attested to his versatility.
After discharge, Don resumed farming, initially in the Western District of Victoria near Portland and shortly after, returning to farm at Ballan where the Fraser family had originally settled from Scotland in the 1860s. Don was the inaugural Chairman of the Ballan/Bacchus Marsh/Daylesford Legacy Group in 1965/1966.
Fraser's crew (and others) at Falconara on the way to aircraft - dispersed after briefing for a formation strike on the Gothic Line in support of 8th Army. Don Fraser P, Charlie McLeod P, Kanga Davis WAG, Charlie Matthews NavB, Mac Hume P.
454 RAAF Squadron Left to Right - Don Fraser Pilot,
Charlie Matthews Navigator B, "Kanga" Davis WAG,
"Woppy" Wardlow WAG