Magnet Ass and the Stone-Cold Truck Hunters
Paperback | Published 2018
Magnet Ass and the Stone-Cold Truck Hunters is a Vietnam War memoir about Captain Alan "Magnet Ass" Milacek, the "man who flew his plane on one wing."
It is a war story. But it is also not a war story. It has everything to do with a white-hot mission over the Plain of Jars in 1970, for which ten men earned The Mackay Trophy, one of history's most coveted aviation awards––and at the same time, it has nothing to do with any of that at all. It is gritty, and it is holy, sometimes full of shit and shrapnel––and at other times as demure as a duck flying over a pond in the dead of winter.
Flashing between 1970 Asia and present day Oklahoma, Magnet Ass is poignantly written, meticulously researched, and narratively gripping. This incredible moment in the annals of Air Force history becomes a story about the power of kindness, courage, and tenacity in the face of uncertainty and fear. It becomes the story of two men pondering the past, and finding themselves––not only in remembering, but in relationship. Magnet Ass is at once a potent war story, a lushly written memoir, and a tale of the power of the everyday impossible, which any of us can strive to achieve.
This book captivated me. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Read it essentially within 48 hours, an unusual thing for me.
As a veteran of war (4 rotations to Afghanistan), I found this book opens an honest window into the world of warfare and those who serve, while also building a bridge to the rest of American life, demonstrating how much more connected we are [...] than divided.
If you're looking for another "war book", this is not for you. If you're interested in reading a real war book that tells of courage, risk, grit, love and grace, this is for you.
Bottom line, this book cuts through the crap and dives straight into the hearts of man, both the Airforce pilot and the struggling writer the same.
—Brandon, US Army Ranger (1997-2009)