Jeff Hower (’88)

Class of 1988 alumnus Jeff Hower has recently co-written a book about members of the 1941 Cornhusker Football Team who went on to fight in World War II.

Cornhuskers Go to War is historical non-fiction written in conversational voice by Tom Kruger and Hower. The two spent years researching and interviewing for their book, and now, the publishing date has finally arrived. The book focuses on the stories of homegrown Nebraska boys who played in the 1941 Rose Bowl and then bravely served their country during World War II. One such hero was Cambridge’s Butch Luther.

During Luther’s senior year at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the football team accomplished a great feat; they made it to a bowl game for the first time in school history. But it wasn’t just any bowl game; it was the Granddaddy of Them All—the Rose Bowl. Luther was the starting halfback for the team and had a great game. The Cornhuskers lost the game, but Nebraska will always be proud of their first football bowl team.

That summer, Luther went from his university ROTC experience right into the army, despite being a top draft pick in the NFL. He was stationed at Fort Robinson’s remount depot, which was a perfect fit for him because of his farming background and love of horses. Wanting to be part of the action, however, Luther put in for a transfer to the 10th Mountain Division, which was the US’s first division of ski troops. One day, as Luther led his regiment up Mount Belvedere in Italy, he was shot between the eyes and killed by a German sniper. Luther was decorated for his bravery and service to his country.

To learn more about the book, which includes the stories of many other Nebraska heroes, go to or visit the Cornhuskers Go To War Facebook page. To read more about Luther and others like him, get your own copy of Cornhuskers Go to War now available online at Amazon, or at fine retailers such as Hy-vee, Hastings Bookstore, and Bosselman’s Travel Center.

Categorized in:Alumni

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