Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday's Today in History

Private Eddie Slovik


Edward Donald Slovik (February 18, 1920January 31,1945) was a private in the United States Army during World War II and the first American soldier to be executed for desertion since the American Civil War.

Although over twenty-one thousand soldiers were given varying sentences for desertion during World War II – including forty-nine death sentences – only Slovik's death sentence was carried out.

Slovik was born in Detroit, Michigan. As a minor, he was arrested several times; the first time, when he was twelve, occurred when he and some friends broke into a foundry to steal some brass. Between 1932 and 1937, he was caught for several incidents of petty theft, breaking and entering and disturbing the peace. In October 1937, he was sent to jail and paroled in September 1938. After stealing and crashing a car with two friends while drunk, he was sent back to jail in January 1939.

In April 1942, Slovik was paroled once more and obtained a job at the Montella Plumbing Company in Dearborn. There he met his wife Antoinette Wisniewski, whom he married on November 7, 1942. They went to live with her parents. Slovik's criminal record had led him to be classified as unfit for duty in the U.S. military ("4-F"), but, shortly after his and Antoinette's first wedding anniversary, Slovik was reclassified as fit for duty ("1-A") and subsequently drafted by the Army.

Slovik arrived at Camp Wolters in Texas for basic military training on January 24, 1944. In August, he was dispatched to join the fighting in France. Arriving on August 20, he was one of twelve reinforcements assigned to Company G of the 109th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 28th Infantry Division.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Hey...interesting/inspiring blog! At the boys' naptimes I will have to sit down and chew through more of it. Thanks for the link...I linked you too. I found you even though you wrote that your blog was "edlehman.blogspot.com" I was like, "Who's Ed?" and then I figured out your fingers must have been spazzing out when it was time to write the jar part. Anyway, cool blog: how do you get the alternative layout features...your red swirling hazardous signs by the title of your blog? Later.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

January. Are you still alive boy?
P.S. the meeting never took place.