Jan. 31, 1945 Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Departement du Haut-Rhin Alsace, France
World War II United States Army Soldier. He was the last United States Solider to be executed for desertion, and the only soldier to be executed for this crime during World War II. He was a member of Company G, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and had deserted them in late October 1944, right after he had joined the division as a replacement from the United States. The division had just finished leaving the Battle of the Hurtengen Forest, where it had taken heavy casualties. Slovik had twice confessed to deserting, in writing, and stated that if given the opportunity he would desert again. He believed that he would only spend a few years in jail, which he would accept to avoid combat. However, he was given the death penalty. On 31 January 1945, Eddie Slovik was executed by firing squad near the village of Ste-Marie aux Mines for the crime of desertion. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, ordered the execution during the closing days of the Battle of the Bulge, in order to deter other potential deserters. Slovik was court-martialed for desertion under fire and sentenced to death by firing squad. He was buried in France, in a reserved section of the American cemetery with 94 American soldiers executed for the crimes of rape and murder. Slovik's remains were returned to Michigan in 1987. Many presidents have been petitioned but no pardon has ever been granted. Forty-two years after Slovik's execution, his remains were reburied next to his wife, Antoinette.