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First Name: Edouard

Last Name: Izac

Birthplace: Cresco, IA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: IL
Middle Name: Victor Michel

Date of Birth: 08 December 1891

Date of Death: 18 January 1990

Rank or Rate: Lieutenant Commander

Years Served: 1915-1921
Edouard Victor Michel Izac

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Edouard Victor Michel Izac

Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I

Lieutenant Commander Edouard Victor Michel Izac (8 December 1891 - 18 January 1990) was a U.S. Navy officer who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I. He was a Representative from California to the U.S. House of Representatives during the period 3 January 1937 to 3 January 1947.

Edouard Victor Michel Izac was born on 8 December 1891 in Cresco, Howard County, IA. He was the youngest of nine children born to Balthazar (born in Alsace-Lorraine) and Mathilda "Geuth" Izacs (born in Philadelphia, with the family heritage from Baden-Wurttemberg). An immigration officer changed the family name from Izac to Isaacs when Balthazar entered the United States in the 1850s.

Edouard attended the School of the Assumption in Cresco, IA; the high school at South St. Paul, MN; and the Werntz Preparatory School at Annapolis, MD. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1915. The day following his graduation from the Academy he married Agnes Cabell, daughter of General De Rosey Carroll Cabell.

He first served on the battleship USS Florida (BB-30), then after he was promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant (Junior Grade); he signed up for the Naval Transport Service. During this time his daughter, Cabell (b. 1916), was born. He transferred to the USS President Lincoln in July 1917. From her maiden voyage in the U.S. Navy on 18 October 1917, she made five successful trips to Europe and back.

On 21 May 1918, his ship, President Lincoln was struck by three torpedoes from the German submarine U-90. Izac was taken aboard the U-90 as prisoner. Later, he escaped from a German prison camp.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy.

Place and date: Aboard German submarine U-90 as prisoner of war, 21 May 1918.

Citation: When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, on 21 May 1918, Lt. Izac was captured and held as a prisoner on board the U-90 until the return of the submarine to Germany, when he was confined in the prison camp. During his stay on the U-90 he obtained information of the movements of German submarines which was so important that he determined to escape, with a view to making this information available to the U.S. and Allied Naval authorities. In attempting to carry out this plan, he jumped through the window of a rapidly moving train at the imminent risk of death, not only from the nature of the act itself but from the fire of the armed German soldiers who were guarding him. Having been recaptured and re-confined, Lt. Izac made a second and successful attempt to escape, breaking his way through barbed-wire fences and deliberately drawing the fire of the armed guards in the hope of permitting others to escape during the confusion. He made his way through the mountains of southwestern Germany, having only raw vegetables for food, and at the end, swam the River Rhine during the night in the immediate vicinity of German sentries.

He was forced to retire in 1921 due to wounds received while a prisoner of war in Germany.

Post-Military Life

Izac relocated to San Diego, CA, after retirement and engaged in newspaper work and writing during the period 1922 to 1928. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1934 to the Seventy-fourth Congress, and a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1940 and 1944. Izac was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses (3 January 1937 - 3 January 1947). He lost his re-election bid in 1946 to the Eightieth Congress.

In 1945, Izac traveled to Europe where he inspected the recently liberated concentration camp of Buchenwald.

Interested in the business of lumbering, Izac raised thoroughbred cattle on a farm in Gordonsville, VA, before residing in Bethesda, MD.

Izac was a resident of Fairfax, VA, from 1988 until his death. Edouard and Agnes Isaac had 5 children, 19 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Croce di Guerra (Italy)
Cross of Montenegro

Death and Burial

Lieutenant Commander Edouard Victor Michel Izac died on 18 January 1990. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 3, Lot 4222-16, Map Grid U-17.

Honoree ID: 1777   Created by: MHOH




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