Bloody Sixteen

The USS Oriskany and Air Wing 16 during the Vietnam War

Peter Fey

Fey explores how the disconnect between failed military strategy and the reality the crew of CVW-16 faced during Operation Rolling Thunder resulted in the highest loss rate of any carrier air wing during Vietnam.
Publication date:
July 2018
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Illustration :
27 photographs, 6 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612349794

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks
ISBN : 9781640123106

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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Regular Price: £20.00

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• Fey's book highlights lessons learned from the disasters of the Oriskany and CVW-16 that continue to influence war strategy today
• Provides a detailed report of all three tours CVW-16 made aboard the Oriskany
• Chronicles the military service of Senator and Presidential Candidate John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Jim Stockdale both of whom were pilots assigned to Carrier Air Wing 16 when they were shot down, captured, and held as Prisoners of War
• Never before told personal accounts woven into a chronological history of the combat action

Failed strategy and reality collide in Peter Fey's descriptive narration of air craft carrier USS Oriskany's three deployments to Vietnam with Carrier Air Wing 16 (CVW-16). Its tours coincided with the most dangerous phases of Operation Rolling Thunder, the ill-fated bombing campaign against North Vietnam, and accounted for a quarter of all the naval aircraft lost during Rolling Thunder—the highest loss rate of any carrier air wing during Vietnam. The Johnson Administration's policy of gradually applied force meant that Oriskany arrived on station just as previous restrictions were lifted and bombing raids increased. As a result, CVW-16 pilots paid a heavy price as they ventured into areas previously designated "off limits” by Washington DC. Named after one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, the Oriskany lived up to its name. After two years of suffering heavy losses, the ship caught fire—a devastating blow due to the limited number of carriers deployed. With only three months allotted for repairs, Oriskany deployed a third and final time, losing more than half of its aircrafts and more than a third of its pilots. The valor and battle accomplishments of Oriskany's aviators are legendary, but the story of their service has been lost in the disastrous fray of the war itself. Fey resurfaces the Oriskany and its heroes in a well-researched memorial to the fallen of CVW-16 in hopes that the lessons learned from such strategic disasters are not forgotten in today's sphere of war-bent politics.


… this is a well-written and comprehensive account of three deployments made to Vietnam between April 1965 and January 1968.
Aeroplane Magazine

Peter Frey has given us a splendid and dramatic picture of the period that the USS Oriskany was in action along the coast of Northern Vietnam thanks to his in depth research and as a fascinating story teller. The book has fascinated me from the beginning until the end and will be doing so for a long time.

This book has given me a far greater understanding of what was going on.
Army Rumour Service

This is one of those books that can fall open at any page and within seconds you are hooked - an excellent piece of work!
Editor - Model Boat World