John J. Luther Jr. (#O-25597)

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Clay City, Indiana
April 1, 1919

Hq. and C
83rd Infantry
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters

John J. Luther Jr. was born on April 1, 1919 in Clay City, Indiana as the second child of John J. Luther and Mary Burger Luther. John Jacob Luther (#0-25597) was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with the class of January 1943.

John Jacob Luther Jr.
I Co.

"Dancing Jack" - a good name for this happy son of "I" Co. Just as he led the jitterbug sessions in summer camp and the dancing chorus in three 100th Nite Shows, ha has thoroughly enjoyed his cadet life. A happy song, a smile, and a kiddish grin have made Jack one of the best liked men of '43. Generous, helpful and efficient, these qualities assure him of a succesful life and happy career in whatever branch he chooses.

Source: "Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY) - Class of January 1943"


As a cadet, Jack was well known and was one of the best-liked men in his class. He gave generously of his time in the numerous activities in wich he was involved - the Pointer, the Howitzer, the Hundredth Night Show, and the Camp Illumination Committee.

Source: "The Class of January 1943 USMA 1943-1993"
A book of the 50th Anniversery of their graduation

Staff of THE POINTER Magazine Of The US Military Academy at WEST POINT.
Back Row: Grimm, Norris, Bachrach - Front Row: Farnsworth, Mr. Moore, John Luther, Wood

John Luther carried his West Point energetic spirit into his Army service. His first troop assignment was into the 83rd Infantry Division at Camp Atterbury. In April 1944, he deployed to England as a member of Hq Company, 1st Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment at that time but was transferred to Company C of the same regiment later in the war where he was Company Commander before being evacuated after wounds received during the Battle of the Bulge. By that time John Luther had been wounded four times. He is the recipient of the Silver Star Medal (for gallantry in action near Culot, France), Bronze Star Medal (for meritorious service as a Company Commander) and Purple Heart with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

While fighting in Normandy with the 329th, Jack was wounded three thimes within one week. John "Jack" Luther received his Silver Star for his actions on July 5, 1944 in the vicinity of Culot, Normandy, France. "On July 4, the big attack jumped off. The 2nd Bn (the only element of the regiment in the initial attack) tried to cross the swamp southwest of Carentan, but met heavy resistance from German paratroops and was unable to gain a foothold on the opposite bank. On the following day, the 3rd Bn, followed by the 1st, drove 2500 meters through hedgerow defenses to Culot, and although heavily counterattacked by SS troops, held their positions".

After his first two wounds in Normandy, Jack refused to be evacuated because "no one who could walk could be spared". Evacuated after his third wound in July 1944, and after two months in a general hospital, he asked to rejoin his 329th Infantry Regiment, but this request was denied. He left the hospital with only the clothes on his pack and struck out to find his unit on his own, which he did on the eve of 9 November 1944 in Luxemburg. He was the Company Commander at the time of Thanksgiving 1944 (source: Thanksgiving menu of Bill Spriggs).

While fighting in the Battle of the Bulge he was more seriously wounded a fourth time. This happened on December 28, 1944 fighting in the vicinity of Rochefort with C Company trying to rescue the trapped GI's of Company B in the town. His fourth wound send him home for good. This time he was evacuated back to the United States where he was hospitalized until May 1945.

Jack was then assigned to the Tactical Department at West Point. There he made such a good impression on the visiting General Mark Clark, that the general had Jack Luther made his aide-de-camp. After more than three years in that assignment, Jack moved to Fort Lewis where he was assigned as battalion commander in the 2nd Infantry Division. In August 1949, he reported to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. While returning from Kansas City on a weekend, Jack was robbed and killed by an unknown assailant in February 1950.

John J. Luther, died on February 11, 1950 in Kansas City, Kansas, and is buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in his home town Clay City, Clay County, Indiana.

John was survived by his sister Henrietta Ellen (Luther) Hayman, (February 14, 1917 - July 9, 2011).

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