Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War I - U.S. Navy

Edouard Victor michel Izac

  • Also Known As: Isaacs, Edouard
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War I
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. President Lincoln
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 21, 1918
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: aboard German submarine U-90 as prisoner of war

When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, 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.

Medal of Honor Recipient Edouard V. Izac
Medal of Honor Recipient Edouard V. Izac
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 11, 1920

    The Washington Navy Yard, presented by Under Sec. of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Born: December 18, 1891, Cresco, Howard County, IA, United States
  • Died: January 18, 1990, Fairfax, VA, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (3-4222-16), Arlington, VA, United States
From the CMOHS Archives

Edouard Izac was born with the last name "Isaacs." He later chose to legally change his name to "Izac" to honor the way his ancestors spelled the name. His Medal of Honor was originally awarded as "Isaacs" but when he legally changed his name, the U.S. Navy agreed to accept the change in his military records.


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