John J. Dwyer’s blazing novel of
World War II American aviators
Climb into the cockpit with Dust Bowl farm boy and college football hero Lance Roark. Experience World War II as you never have, amidst the flaming skies over Europe, in history’s greatest aerial war. They are called “The Greatest Generation” for a reason. They took on the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the most ruthless totalitarian war machines the world has ever known. Learn how much it cost these brave American warriors to win the war in the air so the soldiers below could win it on the ground.
Mustang (Tiree Press, May 2019) tells their story, through the eyes of Lance, the All-American hero of John J. Dwyer’s Will Rogers Medallion Award-winning prequel, Shortgrass. When he, his former teammate and real-life pro football legend and war hero Waddy “Iron Dodger” Young, and their buddies crash headlong into warfare’s most fearsome air armada, the German Luftwaffe, history itself trembles. Audacious, cool under fire, and a born aviator, Lance piles up the missions and decorations, first in a B-17 Flying Fortress, then in a legendary P-51 Mustang fighter plane. And he finds love with a gentle English girl.
But as the body count of his friends and even loved ones mounts, terrible PTSD and a seething obsession for vengeance do as well, in the heart of the once-cheerful, gently-devout farm boy. Pushed to the breaking point, Lance faces an unforgettable showdown in the skies over Dresden, Germany, in the war’s most legendary air raid. Mustang paints an enduring portrait of what our valiant forefathers—those who fell as well as those who came home—sacrificed for our freedom.
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Watch the Mustang teaser trailer
News9 TV Spotlights Mustang, PTSD, John's SNU Veteran Students
what others are saying
"Mustang is magnificent. It may be the greatest American war novel since The Red Badge of Courage. The story includes remarkable depictions of aerial combat, but as in all great literature, the author reaches to higher and eternal themes in the course of a stirring tale."
—Patrick B. McGuigan, City-Sentinel
“Dwyer’s Mustang voice is engaging and he tells dramatic stories like the former sportswriter that he is…an Oklahoma treasure.”
—Andy Rieger, Norman Transcript
“How do I know there's a God? Because, for one thing, he keeps raising up eloquent, decisive champions of the faith: the likes of John Dwyer.”
—William Murchison, Dallas Morning News
"A convincing portrait of faith, adventure, and the consequences of war."
—Ken Raymond, The Oklahoman
“The difference between John Dwyer and other historical authors is that he doesn’t just tell what happened, he shows why people did what they did.”
—Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director,
Oklahoma Historical Society
“What a beautiful book. You literally climb into the cockpit with Lance Roark, and it’s as if you’re there in the Mustang with him. As close to the front lines as a reader can get. Well done, Mr. Dwyer.”
– Rick Tocquigny, Life Lessons Radio Network
John Shares the 33-Year Story Behind Mustang
John on the Life Lessons Radio Network
Waddy Young -
Lance Roark’s best buddy.
The large display panel honoring real life college football hall of famer, pro football star, and American war hero Waddy Young at the Heroes Memorial War Exhibit in Enid, Oklahoma.
John J. Dwyer has learned the toll of war on America’s bravest young people while teaching History and Ethics courses since 2006 to scores of formerly-deployed military veterans at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City. SNU is one of only thirteen collegiate Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success initially established through a U.S. Dept. of Education grant.