Strategy and reality collide in Peter Fey's gripping history of aircraft 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 given the limited number of carriers deployed. With only three months allotted for repairs, Oriskany deployed a third and final time and ultimately lost more than half of its aircraft and more than a third of its pilots. The valor and battle accomplishments displayed by Oriskany's aviators are legendary, but the story of their service has been lost in the disastrous fray of the war itself.
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- Amazon Customer
A valuable addition to the 'should-listen' list
While this book brings now new data or analysis as such for this well-covered topic, it shows very well how things on the battlefield, in Washington and elsewhere were inter-linked and influencing each other. The detail-level is way beyond what you normally see in such a book. It clearly shows that the author was talking to a lot of the pilot of CVW-16. This makes this book a valuable addition to the 'should-read/listen' list about the complex Vietnam War.
The only point of critic is the decision to read all the appendixes as part of the audiobook, which clearly makes no sense as this is not the way one can use them. Adding them as PDF - as seen by other audiobooks - might have been the better approach.
The Narrator's voice is quite good and even listing for up to 5 hours in one go was no problem.