Patrick O'Donnell
Fictional Character
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States (probably born in Ireland in the United Kingdom)
Date of Birth: 19th century
Occupation: Fisherman, Navy Sailor
Military Branch: United States Navy (Great War)

Patrick O'Donnell was the captain of the steam trawler Ripple at the start of the Great War. He had served in the U.S. Navy rising to the rank of CPO, then retired and took up fishing. A faint brogue could be heard mixed in with his Bostonian accent.[1]

With the outbreak of the war, O'Donnell continued to fish until the Confederate commerce raider CSS Swamp Fox sank them.[2] The raider took him and the rest of the crew off before sinking the fishing boat and sent them to a detention camp at Fort Johnston, North Carolina. There he spent his free time standing around at the barbed wire, looking bored but memorizing the fort's layout.[3]

Eventually, O'Donnell and his surviving crew were exchanged for Confederate detainees.[4] On returning to the U.S., O'Donnell reenlisted in the Navy. He did propose a plan to the Navy to sail out in disguised fishing boats towing submersibles to try to entice commerce raiders to attack and be sunk. The Navy agreed and purchased the Spray equipping it with a heavy towline and telephone link. It was manned by some of O'Donnell's old fishing crew and an number of regular navy men. They succeeded in sinking a Confederate submersible[5] but the publicity resulted in the Confederates being too cautious to be fooled again. Eventually, the Navy discontinued the program and reassigned CPO O'Donnell and the rest of the crew to other duties.[6]


  1. American Front, pgs. 10-11, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 107-108.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 179-182.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 275-278.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 367-370.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 455-549.
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