Edouard V. M. Izac

Edouard V. M. Izac Headshot

World War I American Hero

Edouard Victor Michael Izac, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy was born in Cresco, Iowa, December 18, 1891. Born with the last name Isaccs to Balthazar (Alsace-Lorraine) and Mathilda Geuth (Philadelphia, with family heritage Baden-Wurttemburg), an immigration officer changed the family name from Izacs to Issacs when Balthazar entered the United States in the 1850s. Edouard Isaacs changed his name to Izac after visiting France and learning the origin of his ancestors. He also changed his children's names.

Edouard attended the School of Assumption in Cresco later graduating from high school in South St. Paul, Minnesota and the Werntz Preparatory School in Annapolis, Maryland. Izac was a 1915 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The day after his graduation from the academy, Izac married Agnes Cabell (died 1975) daughter of General De Rosey Carroll Cabel and from this union five children were born.

Captured and held prisoner on the German submarine U-90 after sinking the U.S.S. President Lincoln  with three torpedoes, Izac was taken to a prison camp in Germany. Determined to escape after learning crucial information on the movements of German submarines, he jumped through a window of a moving train amidst gunfire from German soldiers. After being recaptured, Lt. Izac successfully escape a second time through barb-wired fences deliberately drawing fire to permit others to escape during the confusion. Making his way through the mountains of southwestern Germany with only raw vegetables to eat, he swam the River Rhine during the night in the immediate vicinity of German sentries.

Forced to retire in 1921 from wounds received while a prisoner of war in Germany, Lt. Izac was ward the Medal of Honor, the Croce di Guerra of Italy, and the Cross of Montenegro; located in San Diego, California.

The Medal of Honor, also know as the Congressional Medal of Honor, is the United States of America's highest military honor,awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S.Congress to U.S. military personnel only. There are three versions of the medal,one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.

Upon retirement, Lt. Izac was involved in newspaper work and writing 1922 - 1928, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940 and 1944, elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1937 - January 3, 1947), interested in lumbering, and raised thoroughbred cattle in Gordonsville, Virginia before residing in Bethesda, Maryland.  Izac resided in Fairfax, Virginia from 1988 until his death on January 18, 1990. Lieutenant Commander Edouard Victor Michael Izac, United States Navy and Member of Congress lived to be 100 years old and his interment is in Arlington National Cemetery.

Edouard Victor Michael Izac, January 1936, was named Lieutenant Commander on the retired list.

At the time of Izac's death he was the last living Medal of Honor recipient from World War I.