Nuclear Submarine Veteran Speaks At Lions Dinner Meeting

Wednesday night, January 6th… thanks¬†to Lion Joe Smaha and his lovely wife, Shirley… the Sanibel Captiva Lions were treated to a fascinating talk by a former active¬†participant in U.S. nuclear submarine development.

In 1960, fresh out of medical school and an internship, Kevin T. O’Donnell went on active duty with the U.S. Navy to become a nuclear trained MD.

As it happened, Dr O’Donnell attended the last nuclear training class under the aegis of Admiral Hyman Rickover, widely considered the father of the United States nuclear submarine program.

After about a year of training, Dr O’Donnell was assigned to the USS Sam Houston SS(B)N 609, a nuclear-powered submarine then under construction at the Newport News shipyard in Virginia.

Dr O’Donnell stayed with the Sam Houston through post-construction sea trials, shakedown and commissioning. He then went on board for two missile shots at Cape Canaveral, Florida, followed by two sixty-day patrols at sea.

Upon discharge from active Naval duty, Dr O’Donnell received a four-year residency in Urology from the Mayo Clinic, followed by private practice in Detroit, Michigan. He has been a Florida resident for twenty-two years.

Kevin T. O’Donnell MD typifies the dedicated breed of “Citizen Sailors” who have helped make the United States Navy the best and strongest in the world today.

Thank you!

Lion Joe Smaha Introduces Dr O'Donnell

Lion Joe Smaha Introduces Dr O’Donnell

Dr O'Donnell addresses the  Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club

Dr O’Donnell addresses the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club


Comments 5

  1. Nice going Kevin. I’m glad they’re feeding you. You’re also looking a little older than when you served on the Sam Houston.
    Older brother Mike

  2. As one of Dr. Kevin O’Donnell’s classmates in high school (University of Detroit Jesuit High) and college (University of Notre Dame), I extend congratulations on behalf of our classmates for his outstanding years of service to our country as a Naval Officer, to his patients as a medical doctor and, as a lions’ Club member, to the many people the Lions serve. May God bless him, his beautiful family, the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club and the United States of America!
    And a happy New Year to all of you in sunny Florida from us Yankees stuck up here in Michigan’s cold and icy winter. — Tom

  3. Kevin-Congratulations and I wish I could have heard your presentation since it was given by someone with the experience. It probably brought back many memories for you. All the Best-Phil and Carol

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