Donnell DE-56 - History

Donnell DE-56 - History


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Donnell

Earl Roe Donnell, Jr., born 3 September 1918 in Temple, Tex., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 24 August 1940 and was appointed an aviation cadet 6 December. Ensign Donnell was killed in action while serving in Scouting Squadron 6 on board Enterprise (CV-6) during the attack on the Marshalls 1 February 1942. For his courage in pressing home his attack in the face of enemy fighter opposition and heavy antiaircraft fire, he was posthumously awarded the Air Medal.

(DE-56: dp. 1,400, 1. 306', b. 37'; dr. 9'5" B. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt. 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.) 2 dct.; cl. Buckley )

Donnell (DE-56) was launched 13 March 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Hingham, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. E. R. Donnell, mother of Ensign Donnell; and commissioned 26 June 1943, Lieutenant Commander F. C. Billings, USNR., in command.

Donnell sailed from Boston 31 August 1943 for transatlantic convoy duty. She guarded the safe passage of four convoys to Londonderry and return in the buildup for the invasion of Europe in June. At sea bound for Londonderry again on her fifth voyage, on 3 May 1944 Donnell made a sound contact, then sighted a periscope a few minutes later and pressed home a depth charge attack. Simultaneously she was struck by a torpedo which blew off her stern. Explosion of her own depth charges inflicted additional damage on the escort. Her casualties were 29 killed and 25 wounded.

Donnell was towed by Reeves (DE-156), Hopping (DE-155), and HMS Samsonia to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland, arriving 12 May. Since repairs would have involved extensive reconstruction, she was placed in commission in reserve at Lisahally, Northern Ireland 20 June 1944, for use as an accommodation ship. She was reclassified IX 182, 15 July 1944. Towed to Plymouth, England, in July to embark passengers and take on cargo, Donnell was towed in August to Cherbourg, France, where she supplied electric power to shore installations. In February 194.5 she was returned to England, and served as barracks ship at Portland and Plymouth until towed back to the States, arriving at Philadelphia Navy Yard 18 July 1945. She was decommissioned 23 October 1945, and sold 29 April 1946.


USS Donnell (DE-56)

USS Donnell (DE-56) là một tàu khu trục hộ tống lớp Buckley được Hải quân Hoa Kỳ chế tạo trong Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai. Tên nó được đặt theo Thiếu úy Hải quân Earl Roe Donnell Jr. (1918-1942), phi công từng phục vụ cùng Liên đội Tuần tiễu VS-6 trên tàu sân bay Enterprise (CV-6) và đã tử trận trong hoạt động không kích quần đảo Marshall vào ngày 6 tháng 2, 1942 và được truy tặng Huân chương Không lực. [1] Nó đã phục vụ trong chiến tranh cho đến khi bị hư hại do trúng ngư lôi vào năm 1944, rồi phục vụ như một trạm phát điện nổi tại Cherbourg, Pháp và như một trại binh tại Anh cho đến khi chiến tranh kết thúc. Con tàu được kéo về Hoa Kỳ, xuất biên chế năm 1945 và bị tháo dỡ năm 1946. Donnell được tặng thưởng một Ngôi sao Chiến trận do thành tích phục vụ trong Thế Chiến II.

  • 1.400 tấn Anh (1.422 t) (tiêu chuẩn)
  • 1.740 tấn Anh (1.768 t) (đầy tải)
  • 9 ft 6 in (2,90 m) (tiêu chuẩn)
  • 11 ft 3 in (3,43 m) (đầy tải)
  • 2 × nồi hơi ống nước Foster-Wheeler kiểu Express "D"
  • 2 × turbine hơi nướcGeneral Electric công suất 13.500 mã lực (10.100 kW), dẫn động hai máy phát điện công suất 9.200 kilôwatt (12.300 hp)
  • 2 × động cơ điện công suất trục 12.000 shp (8,9 MW)
  • 2 × chân vịt ba cánh mangan-đồng nguyên khối đường kính 8 ft 6 in (2,59 m)
  • 3.700 nmi (6.900 km) ở tốc độ 15 kn (28 km/h 17 mph)
  • 6.000 nmi (11.000 km) ở tốc độ 12 kn (22 km/h 14 mph)
    dò tìm mặt biển Kiểu SL trên cột ăn-ten
  • Radar dò tìm không trung Kiểu SA (chỉ trên một số chiếc) Kiểu 128D hay Kiểu 144 trong vòm thu vào được.
  • Ăn-ten định vị MF trước cầu tàu
  • Ăn-ten định vị cao tần Kiểu FH 4 trên đỉnh cột ăn-ten chính
  • 3 × pháo 3 in (76 mm)/50 cal Mk, 22 đa dụng (3×1)
  • 4 × 1,1 inch/75 caliber (1×4)
  • 8 × pháo phòng không Oerlikon 20 mm (8×1)
  • 3 × ống phóng ngư lôi Mark 15 21 inch (533 mm) (1×3)
  • 8 × máy phóng mìn sâu Kiểu K
  • 1 × súng cốichống tàu ngầmHedgehog (24 nòng, 144 quả đạn)
  • 2 × đường ray thả mìn sâu, mang theo cho đến 200 quả

Sunday Ship History: Powerhouse Ships

Interesting bit of naval history contained in U.S. Navy Humanitarian Relief? amidst a discussion of how U.S. Navy ships could be used to provide emergency electrical power during certain civil disasters like hurricane Katina:

During World War II, there were seven destroyer escorts converted into Turbo-Electric Generators (TEG) specifically for the purpose of providing electrical power to shore facilities. They were the Donnell (DE-56), Foss (DE-59), Whitehurst (DE-634), Wiseman (DE-667), Marsh (DE-699), and two British lend-lease ships Spragge (K-572, ex-DE-563) and Hotham (K-583 ex-DE-574)1. Data for these ships are sparse in general.

Consider the Wiseman, for which more data is available. This ship had oil fired boilers producing steam to turn turbine generators which in turn powered electric propulsion motors. This electric ship configuration is optimal for providing electric power ashore since all the power in the ship is already being converted to electric. The Wiseman had transformers and cable reels topside to deliver power at high voltages over relatively long distances. Wiseman powered the city of Manila during WWII and the port of Mason during the Korean War. Wiseman delivered 5,806,000 kWh to Manila over five and a half months2, giving an average generation capability greater than 1.4 MW.

The US Army also used ship to shore power to power remote stations. One notable case is that of the Sturgis/MH-1A, A WWII era Liberty ship equipped with a nuclear power plant used to provide power to the Panama Canal Zone from 1968 to 19753. The MH-1A power plant on the Sturgis generated 10MW electrical power which allowed the canal locks to be operated more frequently.

See here for a previous post on floating nuclear power plants, including the Sturgis.

It appears that the above quoted paragraph may need some addition -
according to DANFS here, USS Whitehurst after taking a hit from a Kamikaze was converted from a pure DE for other purposes:

Then, seaworthy enough for a voyage to Hawaii, Whitehurst reached Pearl Harbor on 10 May and was docked for repairs and alterations.

Once the yard work had been completed and the ship had been converted to a floating power station, Whitehurst departed Pearl Harbor on 25 July 1945, bound for the Philippine Islands. Soon after she reached Luzon, Japan capitulated. Nevertheless, the ship supplied the city of Manila with power from August through Octo ber of 1945.***

Operating as a unit of Escort Division 40, White hurst supplied electrical power to the dredge YM-25 into 1946.

Donnell sailed from Boston 31 August 1943 for transatlantic convoy duty. She guarded the safe passage of four convoys to Londonderry and return in the buildup for the invasion of Europe in June. At sea bound for Londonderry again on her fifth voyage, on 3 May 1944 Donnell made a sound contact, then sighted a periscope a few minutes later and pressed home a depth charge attack. Simultaneously she was struck by a torpedo which blew off her stern. Explosion of her own depth charges inflicted additional damage on the escort. Her casualties were 29 killed and 25 wounded.

Donnell was towed by Reeves (DE-156), Hopping (DE-155), and HMS Samsonia to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland, arriving 12 May. Since repairs would have involved extensive reconstruction, she was placed in commission in reserve at Lisahally, Northern Ireland, 20 June 1944, for use as an accommodation ship. She was reclassified IX-182, 15 July 1944. Towed to Plymouth, England, in July to embark passengers and take on cargo, Donnell was towed in August to Cherbourg, France, where she supplied electric power to shore installations.

In 1946, she was equipped with ship/shore power conversion equipment, with which, during the winter of 1947-48, she provided Portland, Maine, with emergency electric power after normal power resources had failed because of forest fires and lack of rain. In August 1950, Foss took part in rocket experiments at Cape Canaveral, recording data after seaward firings.

Reassigned to the Pacific Fleet, Foss departed Norfolk 29 September 1950, reaching San Diego on 11 October. Six days later, she sailed for duty in the Far East, where her special ability to provide power to the shore was used at Chinnampo, Inchon, and Hungnam in November and December. She arrived at Ulsan Man, Korea on 25 December and remained until 18 August 1951, providing power for an Army unit stationed there.

Subsequently converted to a floating power station—the necessity for ship-to-shore electrical facilities having been proved during the Pacific war—at the Charleston Navy Yard, Wiseman sailed for the Pacific on 11 January 1945. Reporting to Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, for duty on 17 January 1945 upon transiting the Panama Canal, she set course for the Hawaiian Islands in company with the high speed transport Reeves (APD-52).

Making port at Pearl Harbor on 3 February, the destroyer escort operated for a month in the Hawaiian Islands before setting sail for the Philippines on 3 March. Arriving at Manila on the 23d, she commenced furnishing power to that nearly demolished city on 13 April and, over the next five and one-half months, provided some 5,806,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In addition, Wiseman's evaporators furnished 150,000 gallons of drinking water to Army facilities in the harbor area and to many small craft. Her radios were also utilized to a great extent. Placed at the disposal of the Navy's port director, the ship's communication outfit was used to handle harbor radio traffic until the director's equipment arrived and was installed ashore.

Following her vital service at Manila and projected operations at Ketchikan, Alaska, shelved, Wiseman shifted to Guam, arriving on 18 December 1945, where she provided power for the Army dredge Harris (YM-25). Departing Guam on 26 March 1946, in company with sistership Whitehurst (DE-634), she paused at Eniwetok, in the Marshalls (28-29 March), then returned to the United States via Pearl Harbor (4-6 April 1946). Decommissioned at San Diego on 31 May 1946, Wiseman was placed in inactivated status on 19 December 1946, then out of commission, in reserve, on 3 February 1947, and moved to Long Beach. Subsequently, the auxiliary ocean tug Koka (ATA-185) towed Wiseman from Long Beach back to San Diego (16-17 November 1948).

After the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in the summer of 1950, the Chief of Naval Operations recommended that Wiseman be "reactivated at the earliest practicable [time] for distant duty including use as [an] Electric Power Supply Ship." Accordingly, Wiseman was recommissioned at San Diego on 11 September 1950, and, under the command of Lt. Comdr. Jay W. Land, rushed to Korea, reaching the port of Mason, near the mouth of the Naktong River, at the western anchor-point of the former beachhead at Pusan. As she had done at Manila in 1945, Wiseman supplied electricity to a city unable to generate its own. Later, the ship provided comforts-of-home to units of the 1st Marine Division quartered on the nearby pier, providing hot showers, cigarettes, and hot meals cooked in the ship's galley. The destroyer escort also provided instruction in seamanship, gunnery, radar, sonar, and damage control to 80 midshipmen from the Republic of Korea (ROK) Naval Academy and 120 ROK Navy enlisted men.

Departing Tokyo 31 August, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 24 September. There she took an equipment which transformed her into a mobile power unit. With this new asset she returned to Guam 26 October to provide ship‑to‑shore power services until the end of the year.

The destroyer‑escort returned to the United States in early 1946 for shipyard overhaul at San Pedro. On 16 May she once again departed for the South Pacific. Arriving at Kwajalein on the 31st, she provided power to that island until September. She then sailed for Guam where she received orders for Tsingtao and Fusan, Korea, as the 7th Fleet lent support to the aims of American policy in China and in the United States occupation zone of Korea.

Marsh returned to her home port, Pearl Harbor, 31 March 1947 and for the next 3 years operated in the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of California, deploying in 1948 for 2 months duty at Eniwetok.

Her next Pacific deployment came after the invasion of South Korea by the Communists in June 1950. Marsh arrived at Yokosuka 7 September and departed on the 14th for Pusan, where she supplied power to the city for 2 weeks. On 9 October she entered Inchon Harbor and remained as support for that area’s defense until the end of the month. She supplied power at Masan, a seaport on Chosen Strait, for a month starting 9 November, then turned to Pusan where she remained as a ship‑to‑shore power unit for the remainder of her tour.

On 8 February 1951, at Pusan, several of her crew were credited with heroic actions in fighting fires which had broken out in the Army gasoline dump adjacent to the pier where the ship lay.

The distinguishing characteristics of the converted DEs is the rack of electrical cable amidships after the stack.

While there are other situations in which naval ships have provided emergency power to cities, I do not recall hearing before about these unique "electric ships" or of their use both as warships and as a power source to aid in civil-miliary operations.

Floating power plants exist today, but none of them could also shell the beach or take on submarines.


Donnell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Donnell family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name Donnell is derived from the personal name Donald. the surname is derived from the Gaelic Mac Dhomhnuill, which means son of Donald it is a form of the surname MacDonald.

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Early Origins of the Donnell family

The surname Donnell was first found in Inverness, where the origins of this name can be traced back to Somerled, Regulus of the Isles, who evicted the Norsemen from the Western Isles during the 12th century. From him is descended John Macdonald, first Lord of the Isles, and it was MacDonald's younger son, Ranald, who was the progenitor of Clanrald, which includes the families of Moidart, Morar, Knoidart and Glengarry. The MacDonells are from this last branch. It is from Ranald's son, Donald, that the MacDonell's take their name (Son of Donald). There is also a branch of the MacDonells that claim Ranald's other son, Alistair, as its progenitor (the Keppoch branch).

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Early History of the Donnell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnell research. Another 376 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1575, 1672, 1647, 1745, 1749, 1794, 1812 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Donnell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Donnell Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Donnell has been spelled MacDonnell, MacDonnel, McDonnell, MacDonell and others.

Early Notables of the Donnell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Donnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Donnell family to Ireland

Some of the Donnell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donnell migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donnell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Donnell, who landed in New England in 1652 [1]
  • Margarett Donnell, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [1]
  • Samuel Donnell, who landed in New England in 1692 [1]
  • Wager Donnell, who arrived in Virginia in 1697 [1]
Donnell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Donnell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Terrence Donnell, who landed in New York in 1789 [1]
  • Thomas Donnell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [1]
Donnell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Donnell, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1801 [1]
  • Monassas Donnell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • Elizabeth Donnell, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Dennis Donnell, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Andrew Donnell, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donnell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Neal Donnell, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
  • Anne Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Lydia Donnell, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • Elline Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1836
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Donnell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Donnell, a currier, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Edward Donnell, a blacksmith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. William Donnell, (b. 1819), aged 22, Irish farm labourer from Donegal, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [2]
  • Mrs. Rosanna Donnell, (b. 1819), aged 22, Irish farm servant from Donegal, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [3]
  • Miss Mar Donnell, (b. 1823), aged 18, Irish farm servant from County Derry, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [4]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Donnell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Philip Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Mary Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Margaret Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Joseph Donnell, aged 22, a ploughman, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Mr. Joseph Donnell, (b. 1847), aged 22, Irish ploughman, from County Tyrone travelling from London aboard the ship "Siberia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st February 1870 [6]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Donnell (post 1700) +

  • Jean Marie "Jeff" Donnell (1921-1988), American actress, comedy and dramatist, she adopted the nickname "Jeff" after the character in her favorite comic strip, Mutt and Jeff, more recently known for her role as Aunt May Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)
  • Larry Donnell (b. 1988), American NFL football tight end for the New York Giants (2012-)
  • Richard Spaight Donnell (1820-1867), American politician, Congressional Representative from North Carolina, grandson of founding father Richard Dobbs Spaight
  • Alison Donnell, British academic, Professor of Modern Literatures in English and Head of School of Literature and Languages at the University of Reading
  • Colin Donnell (b. 1982), American actor best known for his roles as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes and the leading role of Tommy Merlyn in the television series Arrow
  • Ensign Earl Roe Donnell (1918-1942), American seaman killed in action while serving in Scouting Squadron 6 aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6), eponym of the USS Donnell (DE-56), a Buckley-class destroyer escort
  • John Randolph Donnell (1912-2004), American oilman, banker and philanthropist, 1958 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award and awarded the Bronze Wolf by the World Organization of the Scout Movement
  • James C. Donnell (1854-1927), Irish-born, American industrialist, President of The Ohio Oil Company (1911-1927)
  • Harry Ellingwood Donnell (1867-1959), American Beaux-Arts architect
  • David Donnell (b. 1939), Canadian poet and writer, awarded the Canadian Comic Poet Award in 1981, and the 1983 Governor General's Award for English language poetry
  • . (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Donnell family +

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Francis Donnell, British Corporal, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was wounded in action [7]

Related Stories +

The Donnell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per mare, per terras
Motto Translation: By water and land.


USS Donnell (DE 56)


Photo from Bureau of Ships Collection in NARA #19-N-55732

On 3 May 1944 USS Donnell was on her fifth transatlantic voyage, when she made a sound contact and sighted a periscope 450 miles southwest of Cape Clear, Ireland. She prepared for a depth charge attack but was hit at 12.00 hours by one Gnat torpedo from U-473, which hit the after part and the explosion of her own depth charges blew of the stern. 29 men were killed and 28 wounded. The vessel was towed by the destroyer escorts USS Reeves (DD 156) and USS Hopping (DE 155) and the tug HMS Samsonia to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland, arriving on 12 May. The damage was too extensive to be repaired, so the vessel was reclassified as IX-182 on 10 July 1944 and was used as accommodation ship at Lisahally. Later towed via Plymouth to Cherbourg where she supplied electric power to shore. 1945 she laid in Portland and Plymouth and was then towed back to the States and was decommissioned on 23 October 1945. She was stricken on 16 November 1945 and sold for scrap on 29 April 1946.

Hit by U-boat
A total loss on 3 May 1944 by U-473 (Sternberg).

Commands listed for USS Donnell (DE 56)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Frederick Chester Billing, USNR26 Jun 194317 Nov 1943
2Gordon Marvin Street, USNR17 Nov 194313 Jun 1944
3T/Capt. Harold Romeyn Holcomb, USN13 Jun 194420 Jun 1944
4Kenneth Iverson Boone, USNR20 Jun 194431 Jul 1944
5Robert S Hetzel, USNR31 Jul 194423 Oct 1946

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Donnell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This family was originally Mac Domhnaill in Gaelic, meaning 'son of Domhnall' and as such a patronymic name. The family claim descent from Colla Uais, the 121st Monarch of Ireland, a younger brother of Colla da Chrioch.

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Early Origins of the Donnell family

The surname Donnell was first found in County Clare where MacDonell and O'Easkin were chiefs of the territories of Corca Baisgin or Baiscind, now the barony of Moyarta. However, according to John O'Hart, in his reference Irish Pedigrees, Hart agrees with Connellan's Annals of the Four Masters in that many of the tribe " Clan Colla" traveled from Ulster where they were the Earls of Antrim to settle in Scotland where they retained the name MacDonnell but were generally called MacDonalds who became the Lord of the Isles. Edward MacLysaght disagrees with O'Hart and believes the migration went he other way, in other words the MacDonalds came to Ireland in the 13th century to become the MacDonnells in Antrim. As both authorities were Chief Heralds of Ireland, and noted authors, we put both scenarios here for the reader to decide the family's origin.

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Early History of the Donnell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnell research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1505, 1890, 1505, 1590, 1636, 1615, 1699, 1609, 1683, 1691 and 1754 are included under the topic Early Donnell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Donnell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: McDonnell, Hoddonell, O'Donnal, Otonell, MacDonnell, Donneill, McDonel, McDonell, McDonneil, Hodonell, McDonnel, McDoneill, Odonell, Odonel, Donnelson, Donnell, Donnel, O'Donnall, Donell and many more.

Early Notables of the Donnell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnaill (Somerled of the yellow hair, son of Donnell, Anglicized Sorley Boy McDonnell) (c. 1505 - 1590), Irish prince or flaith and chief Randal Macsorley MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim (died 1636) and his son, Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim (1615-1699), a Roman Catholic.
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donnell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donnell migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donnell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Donnell, who landed in New England in 1652 [1]
  • Margarett Donnell, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [1]
  • Samuel Donnell, who landed in New England in 1692 [1]
  • Wager Donnell, who arrived in Virginia in 1697 [1]
Donnell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Donnell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
  • Terrence Donnell, who landed in New York in 1789 [1]
  • Thomas Donnell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [1]
Donnell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Donnell, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1801 [1]
  • Monassas Donnell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • Elizabeth Donnell, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Dennis Donnell, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Andrew Donnell, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Donnell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Neal Donnell, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
  • Anne Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Lydia Donnell, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • Elline Donnell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1836
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Donnell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Donnell, a currier, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Edward Donnell, a blacksmith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. William Donnell, (b. 1819), aged 22, Irish farm labourer from Donegal, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [2]
  • Mrs. Rosanna Donnell, (b. 1819), aged 22, Irish farm servant from Donegal, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [3]
  • Miss Mar Donnell, (b. 1823), aged 18, Irish farm servant from County Derry, Ireland departing on 8th July 1841 from Greenock, Scotland aboard the ship "New York Packet" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd October 1841 [4]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Donnell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Donnell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Philip Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Mary Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Margaret Donnell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]
  • Joseph Donnell, aged 22, a ploughman, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Mr. Joseph Donnell, (b. 1847), aged 22, Irish ploughman, from County Tyrone travelling from London aboard the ship "Siberia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st February 1870 [6]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Donnell (post 1700) +

  • Jean Marie "Jeff" Donnell (1921-1988), American actress, comedy and dramatist, she adopted the nickname "Jeff" after the character in her favorite comic strip, Mutt and Jeff, more recently known for her role as Aunt May Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)
  • Larry Donnell (b. 1988), American NFL football tight end for the New York Giants (2012-)
  • Richard Spaight Donnell (1820-1867), American politician, Congressional Representative from North Carolina, grandson of founding father Richard Dobbs Spaight
  • Alison Donnell, British academic, Professor of Modern Literatures in English and Head of School of Literature and Languages at the University of Reading
  • Colin Donnell (b. 1982), American actor best known for his roles as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes and the leading role of Tommy Merlyn in the television series Arrow
  • Ensign Earl Roe Donnell (1918-1942), American seaman killed in action while serving in Scouting Squadron 6 aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6), eponym of the USS Donnell (DE-56), a Buckley-class destroyer escort
  • John Randolph Donnell (1912-2004), American oilman, banker and philanthropist, 1958 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award and awarded the Bronze Wolf by the World Organization of the Scout Movement
  • James C. Donnell (1854-1927), Irish-born, American industrialist, President of The Ohio Oil Company (1911-1927)
  • Harry Ellingwood Donnell (1867-1959), American Beaux-Arts architect
  • David Donnell (b. 1939), Canadian poet and writer, awarded the Canadian Comic Poet Award in 1981, and the 1983 Governor General's Award for English language poetry
  • . (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Donnell family +

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Francis Donnell, British Corporal, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was wounded in action [7]

Related Stories +

The Donnell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: His vinces
Motto Translation: With these you will conquer.


Donnell DE-56 - History

By Paul B. Cora

Also Through the first half of World War II, Allied shipping losses to German U-boats climbed steadily from over 400,000 tons in the last four months of 1939 to more than two million tons each in 1940 and 1941, before reaching a staggering 6,266,215 tons in 1942 following the entry of the United States into the war. The success of the Kreigsmarine’s submarine fleet against Britain in particular made the defeat of the U-boats a prime objective of Allied planners. Throughout the war vast resources were committed to achieve it.

The Birth of the Destroyer Escort

The rising toll of the U-boats and the shortage of purpose-built convoy escort vessels in the British Royal Navy during the war’s first year gave birth to the concept of the destroyer escort or “DE”—a U.S.-built warship type that was destined to become a mainstay of Allied convoy defense by the second half of World War II.

Smaller, slower, and less heavily armed than destroyers, DEs nevertheless had ample antisubmarine capabilities. The 1941 British Admiralty specification used in the design by the firm of Gibbs and Cox specified stowage for 112 depth charges, a state-of-the-art, forward-firing hedgehog antisubmarine projector, and dual-purpose main armament effective against both surface and air targets. Above all, the DEs were designed to be mass produced quickly and cheaply.

A Destroyer Escort being launched from dry-dock.

The First Destroyer Escorts

The first of some 563 DEs constructed during World War II were laid down using Lend-Lease funds at the U.S. naval shipyard, Mare Island, California. The first four went to Britain’s Royal Navy, while the fifth was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Evarts (DE-5). Ultimately, 97 Evarts-class DEs were built with a third of them serving in the Royal Navy where they were known as the “Captain”-class escort ships.

U.S. Navy destroyer escorts were named for deceased naval heroes, and many American sailors who gave their lives in the first years of the war would be so honored. Depending on their class and mission, DEs were manned by 180 to 220 officers and men.

Evarts-class DEs were 289 feet, 5 inches long, with a beam of 35 feet, and an overall displacement of 1,360 tons fully loaded. Their original armament consisted of three 3-inch 50-caliber (3″/50) dual-purpose guns, a quad 1.1-inch antiaircraft mount, and nine 20mm single mount antiaircraft guns. For antisubmarine work, two depth charge racks were located aft, eight K-gun depth charge throwers were located amidships port and starboard, and a hedgehog projector was mounted forward of the bridge between the No. 1 and No. 2 3″/50s. For main propulsion, Evarts-class DEs were equipped with four General Motors diesel-electric generators that supplied power for the propulsion motors—a system known as GMT or General Motors Tandem drive. So powered, the twin-screw Evarts-class ships were capable of 20 knots.

Evolution of the Design

By 1943, improvements in basic design and armament were on the way. For Buckley-class DEs, which soon followed in production, overall length was increased to 306 feet, and armament was beefed up to include a three-tube battery of 21-inch torpedoes placed amidships. Steam-driven, Buckley-class DEs were equipped with Foster-Wheeler boilers and General Electric geared turbo-generators, whose 12,000 shaft horsepower gave them a top speed of more than 23 knots. A second rudder improved steering and tightened their turning radius by 25 percent—a highly useful characteristic for hunting submarines. Fully loaded displacement on Buckley-class DEs increased to 1,720 tons from the smaller short-hulled Evarts class.

The four subsequent classes of DEs after the Buckley class retained the 306-foot overall length, though variations in main propulsion were dictated by shipyard capability and engine supplies. The 1,520-ton Cannon-class DEs were powered by General Motors diesel-electric drives identical to the main propulsion in the Evarts class, while those of the 1,490-ton Edsall class received Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines of the same type that powered the electric generators on many U.S. fleet-type submarines, directly coupled to the screws. Rudderow class ships displaced 1,811 tons fully loaded and, like the Buckleys, were steam-driven turbo-electric ships. Those of the 2,100-ton John C. Butler class received Westinghouse geared steam turbines and were capable of almost 30 knots. Unlike earlier designs, the Butlers and Rudderows received 5-inch 38-caliber (5″/38) enclosed gun mounts as main armament and destroyer-style enclosed bridges, as opposed to the tall open bridge of the original British design.

From the outset, DEs were fitted with electronic gear that made them effective at finding submarines, including sonar for hunting submerged U-boats and radar for picking them up on the surface. Some DEs also received high-frequency radio direction finding equipment (known as HFDF or “huffduff”), which allowed them to home in on radio signals sent by U-boats at sea.

Some 16 U.S. shipyards produced destroyer escorts during World War II. By 1944, DEs were operating in such quantity that they formed the backbone of antisubmarine defense in the Atlantic, where they not only protected convoys of merchant ships and troop transports, but also operated with escort aircraft carriers in highly effective hunter-killer groups that sought out and destroyed U-boats before they could strike.

From the outset, DEs were fitted with electronic gear that made them effective at finding submarines.

Combat Experience

Among the most successful of these was the Edsall-class USS Pillsbury (DE-133), which, as part of a hunter-killer group led by the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60), depth-charged U-515 to the surface on April 8, 1944, then in company with her sister ship, USS Flaherty (DE-135), destroyed the sub in a gun battle. Some two months later, on June 4, 1944, the Pillsbury forced U-505 to the surface off the Cape Verde Islands. Her crew then boarded and captured the sub, furnishing the Allies with an invaluable intelligence coup. Awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for bagging U-505, Pillsbury’s exploits were far from over. On April 24, 1945, while operating in the North Atlantic, she depth charged and sank U-546.

Four U.S. destroyer escorts were lost to U-boats, including the USS Leopold (DE-319), one of 30 DEs manned by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. The Buckley-class USS Donnell (DE-56) was torpedoed by a U-boat off the British Isles while defending a convoy on May 3, 1944. Twenty-nine of Donnell’s crewmen were killed, but damage control measures saved her from sinking, although the damage proved too extensive for her to return to escort duty. In August 1944, however, the Donnell was towed across the English Channel and tied up at war-torn Cherbourg, where her still serviceable power plant was used to make electricity. The USS Holder (DE-401), was eventually scrapped after being seriously damaged in an April 1944 air attack off Algeria, and the USS Rich (DE-695) sank after hitting a mine off Normandy on June 8, 1944. Britain’s Royal Navy lost eight of the 78 DEs it acquired from the United States.

In the Pacific, DEs served with distinction as antisubmarine vessels and also carried out other tasks, including shore bombardment, radar picket, and troop carrying after being converted to fast-attack transports (APD).

Among the most famous DEs of the Pacific War was the Buckley-class USS England (DE-635), which, in just 12 days during May 1944, hunted down and sank five Japanese submarines and assisted in the destruction of a sixth. For this unequaled feat, the ship received a Presidential Unit Citation, prompting the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest J. King, to remark, “There’ll always be an England in the United States Navy.” The following spring, however, England’s combat exploits came to an end when a Japanese kamikaze slammed into her side, killing 37 of her crew and forcing her to steam to the U.S. for repairs.

DEs in the Battle of Leyte Gulf

Some DEs in the Pacific were involved in actions for which they had never been designed, such as engaging major enemy surface ships. Off Samar on October 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, four DEs were involved in the defense of a group of escort carriers that were caught by surprise and attacked by a powerful Japanese surface fleet under Admiral Takeo Kurita. When Kurita’s force of four battleships and some 19 cruisers and destroyers engaged six lightly protected escort carriers, the DEs John C. Butler (DE-339), Raymond (DE-341), Dennis (DE-405), and Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) joined the three fleet destroyers assigned to their task unit, code-named Taffy 3, and charged the Japanese armada in a desperate defense.

Four U.S. destroyer escorts were lost to U-boats.

After firing their 21-inch torpedo batteries at the oncoming Japanese, the destroyers and DEs opened fire with their 5-inch guns and continued to lay smoke screens in the hope that the escort carriers might slip away. During the action, the Samuel B. Roberts was able to score hits with her torpedoes as well as her 5-inch guns on the Japanese heavy cruiser Chokai, though the gallant DE was hit a short time later by numerous 8-inch and 14-inch shells and sank with the loss of nearly 100 men. In addition to the Samuel B. Roberts, two U.S. destroyers and one other escort carrier were lost at Samar, but the suicidal defense by the “tin cans” and DEs did much to save the day as Kurita withdrew believing he faced a much larger force.

Conversions and Adaptations

Despite the effective use of 21-inch torpedoes at Samar by the DEs of Taffy 3, it was evident that destroyer escorts needed more antiaircraft protection. By mid-1944, many DEs originally equipped with torpedoes received four single-mount 40mm antiaircraft guns amidships in place of their torpedo batteries. The fitting of single-mount “Army-type” 40mm guns was primarily a stopgap measure intended to deal with increased German air activity in the Mediterranean. By 1945, antiaircraft protection on DEs operating in the Pacific would be further increased in the face of Japanese kamikaze attacks.

Beginning in 1944, some 95 DEs of the Buckley and Rudderow classes underwent conversion to fast attack transport (APD), some during their construction. After removal of torpedo tubes and aft deck guns, these ships were outfitted with stowage space and davits for four LCVP landing craft, cargo cranes, and a beefed- up superstructure that provided living space for troops. So transformed, APDs were capable of putting ashore a battalion of soldiers or Marines in an amphibious assault. In place of their forward 3-inch/50-caliber deck guns, Buckley-class APD conversions received a single 5-inch/38-caliber gun, and all APDs kept their depth charges while receiving an additional 40mm antiaircraft mount.

In the Pacific, six DEs were lost to enemy action. In addition to the Samuel B. Roberts, the USS Eversole (DE-404) and the USS Shelton (DE-407) were torpedoed by Japanese submarines, while the USS Underhill (DE-682) fell victim to a kaiten suicide craft off the Philippines. The USS Bates (APD 47) sank with the loss of 21 of her crew after being struck by a kamikaze off Okinawa on May 25, 1944. The USS Oberrender (DE-344) was so badly damaged by Japanese suicide planes off Okinawa that she was scrapped.

Legacy of the Destroyer Escort

After World War II, some DEs continued to serve in the U.S. Navy, frequently as training ships for the Naval Reserve. During the 1950s, some 36 DEs underwent conversion to radar pickets (DER) and were used, aside from fleet duties, as part of the Cold War’s DEW (Distant Early Warning) Line intended to protect the United States from surprise nuclear attack. Still other DEs went to foreign navies, in which some steamed on into the 1990s.

Though 563 DEs were built at U.S. shipyards during World War II—in itself an amazing industrial achievement—they have virtually disappeared today. A happy exception is the Cannon-class USS Slater (DE-766) operated as a floating museum and memorial on the Hudson River in Albany, New York. Lovingly restored by a dedicated group of professionals and volunteers, the Slater is the best example of a World War II DE to be found anywhere today. Step aboard DE-766 at Albany and step back in time to 1945—from the silverware and china laid out in the officer’s wardroom, to the virtually complete armament suite that includes depth charges and hedgehog projectors, 3-inch/50-caliber deck guns, and 20mm and 40mm antiaircraft mounts that seem ready to swing into action. Exploring this 309-foot warship, the visitor sees the Slater through the eyes of a World War II crewman. From the fully outfitted bridge and pilot house to the damage control lockers and living spaces, she appears ready to join a convoy under way.

The approach to the problem of the U-boat menace in World War II, largely embodied in the mass production of destroyer escorts, was a tribute to the capabilities of American industry and to Allied resolve. The place of DEs in the naval history of World War II, however, goes far beyond the Battle of the Atlantic, for these were extremely versatile ships. DEs and their crews took on a myriad of tasks in every theater of the war and succeeded far beyond what the designers of the little ships had ever imagined.


Donnell DE-56 - History

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Niall of the Nine Hostages, forefather of the Ui Neill (a whole series of septs tracing their ancestry to him), was making raids on Britain and France towards the end of the fourth century when the Romans were returning home. From Conall Gulban, a son of Niall, descend the O'Donnells of Tirconnell (meaning Conall's territory). They take their name from Domhnaill (meaning world mighty) an ancient and very popular Irish personal name. In time Tirconnell became known as Donegal, the area in Ulster where this powerful family was established for many generations. Their chiefs were inaugurated at Kilmacrenan, north of Letterkenny in County Donegal, first in a religious ceremony and then on the Rock of Doon, in a civil ceremony. It was here, in 1200, that Eignechan was made the first Chief of the O'Donnell clan. Like many of the ruling families at that time, they occupied themselves in tribal conflict, mostly attacking their kinsmen, the O'Neills. The family were also erenaghs of Letter and Lisfannon in the parish of Fahan in Inishowen. There are well over three hundred references to individual O'Donnells in the Annals of the Four Masters. The O'Donnells have always been both numerous and eminent in Irish life. They are of course chiefly associated with Tirconnaill (Donegal) the habitat of the largest and best known O'Donnell sept but, as the present distribution of persons of the name implies, there were quite distinct O'Donnell septs in other parts of the country, two of which require special mention that of Corcabaskin in West Clare, and another, a branch of the Ui Maine (Hy Many) in Co. Galway. All of these descend from some ancestor Domhnall (anglice Donal) and are Ó Domhnaill in Irish. The Donal particularized in the case of the great Tirconnaill sept, who died in 901, was himself descended from the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages. Their predominance only dates from the thirteenth century: prior to that they were located in a comparatively restricted area around Kilmacrenan, Co. Donegal. With a total of nearly 13,000 the O'Donnells are among the fifty most common names in Ireland. They have produced many illustrious figures in Irish history, as soldiers, churchmen, authors and politicians.

From Niall Garbh (d. 1439) descend the O'Donnells of Ross and Newport, Larkfield and Grayfield, Castlebar, and the branches who settled in Spain and Austria. St Colmcille (521 - 597), one of the three patron saints of Ireland, who was born at Garton, County Donegal, was a kinsman of the O'Donnells. He was the monastic scribe responsible for the Cathach, the famous Latin manuscript of the psalms which was the battle book of the O'Donnell warriors. The book, which survived much rough handling at home and abroad, is now in the Royal Irish Academy, while its elaborate silver shrine is in Dublin's National Museum.

The O'Donnells were predominantly warriors. Accounts of the deeds of their heroes reflect the early military history of Ireland and the Continent.

Chief Hugh Roe O'Donnell (1461 - 1505) built a castle and monastery at Donegal which in the sixteenth century was the stronghold of Manus O'Donnell (d. 1563), Lord of Tirconnell. In 1527, his predecessor had built Lifford Castle to keep out the O'Neills. Manus was a flamboyant man who dressed like Henry VIII, married five times and had nineteen children. With O'Neill, Manus attacked the Pale in an effort to overthrow the establishment in Dublin Castle. They failed and had to submit to the Lord Deputy. Manus was deprived of his lordship and was taken prisoner by his own son, Calvagh, who held him at his castle in Lifford. It is believed that Calvagh (d. 1566) had quarrelled with his father because he was jealous of the influence Hugh Dubh, his half-brother, had with Manus. In 1554 Calvagh went to Scotland hoping to entice Sorley Boy MacDonnell's brother, James, a kinsman on his mother's side, to help him in his struggle with the O'Neills on the coast of Antrim. Meanwhile, his half-brother, Hugh Dubh, enlisted Shane O'Neill's help. This enraged Calvagh, whose sister was married to Shane O'Neill, who treated her abominably. Calvagh and his wife were captured near Lough Swilly. He was horribly tortured while Shane took his wife as a mistress. When released in 1564, Calvagh fled to England to demand justice from Elizabeth I. In return for his loyalty he was restored to his "country", but died shortly afterwards. Since Calvagh's son Con was in prison, the despised half-brother, Hugh Dubh, was inaugurated O'Donnell, Lord of Tirconnell. The ceremony took place at the Rock of Doon when a long white rod, an slath ban, was presented to him. The inaugural address exhorted him to, "Accept this auspicious symbol of your dignity and remember to imitate in your government the whiteness, straightness and unknottedness of this rod: that no evil tongue may find cause to asperse the candour of your actions with blackness nor any kind of corruption, or ties of friendship, be able to prevent your justice therefore in a lucky hour take the government of this people to exercise the power given you in freedom and security".

Hugh's son was the famous Chief Red Hugh O'Donnell (1571 - 1602), whose youthful abduction was a poignant episode in Irish history. The English Deputy, Sir John Perrot, in order to check the rising power of the O'Donnells and their alliance with the Hebridean Scots, plotted to kidnap the O'Donnell heir. A ship with a cargo of Spanish wine came into Lough Swilly, and the seventeen year old Red Hugh and two companions were invited on board. The hatches were closed and the ship sailed for Dublin, where they were incarcerated in the dreaded Castle. It was not until three years later, on the eve of the Epiphany (January) 1582, that Red Hugh and two young sons of Shane O'Neill, Henry and Art, escaped (for the second time). On a three-day trek across the snow - covered Wicklow Mountains to Glenmalure they suffered intense hardship and Henry O'Neill was separated from the others. Art O'Neill died of exposure, but Red Hugh, helped by the O'Byrnes and O'Tooles of Wicklow, eventually reached his father's castle at Ballyshannon in Donegal. Hugh had to suffer the loss of his two big toes which had been frostbitten. His father handed the chieftainship over to Hugh, and, in 1598, he joined with Hugh O'Neill in the decisive battle of the Yellow Ford, when the English were heavily defeated. But a few years later came defeat at Kinsale, after which Red Hugh was sent to Spain for help. There Philip III received him well, but Hugh, in 1602, fell suddenly ill and died at Simancas. It was suspected that he was poisoned by a spy, James Blake of Galway, but modern research inclines to the belief that he died from natural causes. His life was a brief 31 years and he left no children.

Rory O'Donnell (1575 - 1608), who had fought with his brother, Red Hugh, at Kinsale, assumed the chieftainship when Red Hugh left for Spain. Together with O'Conor Sligo he tried to restore Irish power to Connacht by guerrilla tactics. In 1602 both O'Conor and O'Donnell had to submit to the Crown. In exchange, Rory was knighted and given the English title of Earl of Tirconnell. He was not pleased with the lands allowed him and, correctly, suspected that the government was planning to break the power of the Gaelic lords. Together with Tyrone and Maguire he took part in a mismanaged plot to seize Dublin Castle. The plans were leaked and he and Tyrone were lucky to escape to Rome, where he died aged only thirty three.

Rory had married Bridget, a daughter of the 12th Earl of Kildare. Their daughter Mary O'Donnell (1608 - 49) was born in England after her father's escape to Rome. James I gave her the royal name of Stuart and she was known as Mary Stuart O'Donnell. She was reared by Lady Kildare, her grandmother, who also chose a husband for her but, unfortunately, he was not to the liking of Mary Stuart. Both she and her maid adopted male disguise and, accompanied by a manservant, planned their escape to Ireland. Whenever her disguise aroused any suspicion, she allayed it by making passionate love to a girl, or offering to fight a duel! She went to Brussels, continued on to Genoa and married an O'Gallagher. When she was expecting her second child she wrote in great distress to Cardinal Barberini. The last heard of this remarkable woman was that she was a widow living in Prague.

Sir Niall Garbh (1569 - 1626), Calvagh's grandson, had vehemently opposed his cousin Red Hugh's election as chief. He captured the O'Donnell fortress at Lifford and also Donegal Abbey, and installed himself as chieftain at Kilmacrenan. He was implicated in Cahir O'Doherty's catastrophic rebellion at Derry in 1608 and was sent to the Tower of London, where he spent twenty seven miserable years.

Hugh O'Donnell (d. 1704) was known as Balldearg O'Donnell because of a red birthmark, a feature found in several members of the family. Born in Donegal, he joined the Spanish army and became a brigadier. He returned to serve James II, but reached Ireland when the battle of the Boyne was lost. In a romantic bid to fulfil a prophecy that Ireland would be saved by an O'Donnell with a red spot, he rallied 10,000 men to his side in Ulster. History repeated itself and soon there was intertribal jealousy and his army fell apart. In what has been described as an age of reason rather than patriotism, Balldearg joined William III's forces and demanded the Earldom of Tirconnell, plus suitable compensation for the loss of the brigadier rank he had held in Spain. He ravaged Connacht before setting off on a number of military missions on the Continent. In 1697 he returned to Spain and died a major-general.

The O'Donnells who sailed for Europe with the "Wild Geese" were not slow to establish themselves in the military hierarchy. Major-General Henry Count O'Donnell (a descendant of Calvagh, Chief of Tirconnell) was the founder of the Austrian branch of the family. With his O'Donnell cousins from Larkfield, County Leitrim, he went to Austria to join his uncle, General Count Hamilton. Henry's eldest son, Count Joseph O'Donnell (1755 - 1810), was the skilful Finance Minister who steered Austria through the economic disaster following the Napoleonic invasion. Joseph's son, Field Marshal Count Maurice O'Donnell, born in Vienna in 1780, was the father of the famous Major-General Maximilian Count O'Donnell who, as aide-de-camp to the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef, saved him from assassination in 1853.

The lineage of the Counts O'Donnell von Tirconnell in Austria is a continuing one. Henry's brother, Lieutenant-General Joseph O'Donnell (1722 - 87), lived in Spain, where the Irish always received the same opportunities for promotion as the native Spanish. He had six sons and two daughters. His eldest daughter, Beatrix, married Count Manuel de Pombo, Colombia's national hero. Her many descendants are still in South America. Carlos O'Donnell (1773 - 1830) was the second son of General Joseph O'Donnell. Carlos's son was Leopoldo O'Donnell (1809 - 67), the most outstanding of the Spanish O'Donnells. Following the successful Moroccan campaign, he was created Duke of Tetuan in 1860. He was Governor of Cuba for a while and was Prime Minister of Spain in 1858. Leopoldo's nephew, Lieutenant Carlos O'Donnell (d. 1903), was Chamberlain, Minister for State and ambassador at the courts of Brussels, Vienna and Lisbon. Carlos's son, Juan (1864 - 1928), presided at the Irish Race Convention held in 1919. The delegates endeavoured to gain the support of President Wilson of America for Ireland's claim to nationhood, but their efforts ended in failure.

In 1956, the National University of Ireland conferred an honorary degree on his descendant, Leopoldo, Duke of Tetuan (b. 1915).

It is impossible to visit Madrid today without recognizing the influence of the O'Donnells. One of its principal streets bears the name, as do many shops, commercial houses and garages. There is one family of thirteen O'Donnell brothers and in the telephone directory they are numerous. The present Duke of Tetuan of the Spanish O'Donnells has five brothers, all married.

After the battle of the Boyne in 1690, Daniel O'Donell was one of the family who went to France, taking with him the Cathach. It was deposited in a monastery where it was discovered by a priest in the 1880s. Sir Nial O'Donnell of the Newport, County Mayo, family claimed it as the badge of their chieftaincy. This was disputed by the other branches of the family. Finally the Cathach reached the neutral haven of the Royal Irish Academy, where it was placed by Sir Richard Annesley O'Donnell, 4th Baronet of Newport House (now a first class hotel).

James Louis O'Donnell (1738 - 1811) left his Tipperary home to study in Rome and in Prague, where he was ordained a Franciscan friar before returning to Ireland. In the eighteenth century, there was much contact by sea between Newfoundland and the port of Waterford, where he was Prior to the Franciscan house. Newfoundland merchants asked for him to be sent to their country. He arrived in 1796, aged 58, and made such a valuable contribution to the religious and political life of this new land that he was dubbed the "Apostle of Newfoundland".

John Francis O'Donnell (1837 - 74) was the son of a Limerick shopkeeper. At 17 he was a reporter for the Munster News. He went to London to work for a number of journals. Charles Dickens took an interest in him. In 1826, when A.M. Sullivan was editing the Young Ireland revolutionary newspaper, the Nation, John Francis returned to Dublin to work for him. Whether living in Dublin or London, he championed the nationalist movement. He had a great love of poetry and a promising literary career was cut short by his early death in London.

The O'Donnells have that rare enough distinction, especially in Ireland, of having had a cardinal in the family. Patrick O'Donnell (1856 - 1927) was born in Kilraine, County Donegal. At twenty four he was the youngest bishop in the world at the time, and became a cardinal in 1915. He was instrumental in building churches and schools. He showed particular concern for the restoration of the Irish language, and with healing the nationalist rift following the death of Parnell. He was one of the founder members of the National University of Ireland.

The best-known O'Donnell writer is Peader O'Donnell (1893 - 1986), who was born in Donegal into a family of eleven children. He moved from teaching to trade unionism, and involved himself in the problems of small farmers and labourers. He fought in the Civil War in Ireland. Later he joined various left-wing movements in Europe. In the 1930s he wrote plays, short stories and novels, including the much admired Islanders. He edited The Bell, one of Ireland's finest literary magazines, in its final years. He encouraged young writers, including the irascible genius, Patrick Kavanagh.

All the Irish branches of the O'Donnells are extinct in the male line except Larkfield. The sole surviving member is The O'Donnell of Tirconnell, Father Aedh O'Donel (b. 1940), who is a Franciscan missionary in Zimbabwe. The headship of the clan will pass from him to his Spanish cousins, represented by the Dukes of Tetuan.

The origin of the arms of this historic family is of remarkable interest and of great antiquity. Connell son of Niall "of the Nine Hostages" (High King of Ireland 375-402) is recorded in two of the lives of St. Patrick to have been converted to Christianity by that saint, who, to reward him for his singular zeal, marked on his shield the sign of the cross, directing him and his descendants ever afterwards to bear as the emblem of victory. There is no doubt that this sign or symbol was borne by his descendants, the Lords of Tirconnell, long before any formal system of heraldry existed. Hugh O'Donnell, Chief of Tirconnell and thirty third in line from Connell made his submission to the English Government in 1567 and was knighted by Sir Henry Sidney, the Lord Deputy. At that time his arms were recorded thus:

Arms: "Or issuing from the sinister side of the shield an arm fessways vested azure cuffed argent holding in the hand proper a cross crosslet fitchee gules". The recognised sept arms are identical to this except that the cross is a passion cross. Many branches of the great family adopted slight variations of this shield.

Crest: (of Manus O'Donnell, died 1793) "Two arms armed bent and counter crossed each holding a sword that on the dexter transfixing a boar's head and the other a heart". In another version, the right hand holds a scimitar and the other a heart.

Motto: In hoc signo vinces. (Under this sign we are victorious).

Notwithstanding the story of the origins, there is actually another coat of arms associated with the family and this bears a much closer relationship to the traditional Ui Neill symbolism.

Arms: Sable two lions rampant combatant argent armed and langued gules in chief a dexter hand couped at the wrist erect between two mullets and in base another mullet all of the second.

Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or a naked arm embowed grasping a dart all proper.


DONNELL IX 182

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Buckley Class Type TE Destroyer Escort
    Keel Laid November 27 1942 - Launched March 13 1943

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Donnell DE-56 - History

Donnell sailed from Boston 31 August 1943 for trans-atlantic convoy duty. She guarded the safe passage of four convoys to Londonderry and return in the buildup for the invasion of Europe in June. At sea bound for Londonderry again on her fifth voyage, on 3 May 1944, 450 miles southwest of Cape Clear, Ireland, Donnell made a sound contact, then sighted a periscope a few minutes later and pressed home a depth charge attack. Simultaneously, she was struck by a torpedo from U-473* (formerly credited to U-765) which blew off her stern. Explosion of her own depth charges inflicted additional damage. 29 crewmembers were killed.

Donnell was towed by USS Reeves DE 156, USS Hopping DE 155 and HMS Samsonia to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland, arriving 12 May. Since repairs would have involved extensive reconstruction, she was placed in commission in reserve at Lisahally, Northern Ireland, 20 June 1944, for use as an accommodation ship. She was reclassified IX-182, 15 July 1944. Towed to Plymouth, England in July to embark passengers and take on cargo, Donnell was towed in August to Cherbourg, France where she supplied electric power to shore installations. In February 1945 she was returned to England and served as barracks ship at Portland and Plymouth until towed back to the States, arriving at Philadelphia Navy Yard 18 July 1945. She was decommissioned 23 October 1945 and sold 29 April 1946.
(DANFS, 1963, Vol II, p. 288 with additions by the webmaster)

*Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House, NY


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