Izac, Edouard Victor M., LCDR

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary NEC
000X-Unknown Navy Officer Classification/ Designator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1917-1918, USS President Lincoln (1917)
Service Years
1915 - 1921
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1891
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Gregg Baitinger, BM1 to remember Izac, Edouard Victor M. (Isaacs), LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Cresco
Last Address
Fairfax, Virginia

Date of Passing
Jan 18, 1990
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 3

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Last Known Activity


MOH 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 reconfined, 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.
   
Other Comments:

When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, on 21 May 1918, Lt. Izac was second in command. German submarines were ordered to bring back proof of their "kills," and the sub came up to the surface, demanding the Captain of the ship. The US crew was afraid the Germans wanted to kill him, so they hid him and Lt. Izac told them that he died when the ship was hit. The Germans took Izac prisoner, as proof they had sunk the ship. Izac kept his knowledge of reading and speaking German from his captors, and during his stay on the U-90 he obtained information of the battle plans and movements of German submarines. This information would make a major difference in how the Atlantic War would be fought.

When the submarine returned to Germany, he was turned over to the German Army for transport to a prisoner of war camp. In attempting to escape, 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. He was recaptured and confined until he reached the POW Camp. Lt. Izac made a second and successful escape attempt, 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. Two other Allied officers also escaped. He made his way through the mountains of southwestern Germany, having only raw vegetables for food, and at the end, swam the Rhein River to Switzerland during the night in the immediate vicinity of German sentries. He walked into the American Embassy at Bern, Switzerland, to deliver his strategic information on 11 November 1918, the morning the war ended.

For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1922, the only US Navy person to earn this medal in World War I. A second grave site for Edouard Izac gives additional information about his life and family.
   
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 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1917-1918, USS President Lincoln (1917)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1911-1915, United States Naval Academy
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