Edouard Victor Michael Izac – Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy Member of Congress

Born at Cresco, Howard Country, Iowa, December 18, 1889, he was a 1915 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  He earned theMedal of Honor during World War I while serving as a Lieutenant and as a captive aboard the German Submarine U-90 from May 21, 1918.


From a contemporary news report:

“E.V.M. Izac, a World War I hero who served as a Congressman from California in the 1930s and 1940s, died of congestive heart failure at the home of his daughter in Fairfax, Virginia. He was 100 years old. In 1918, he was captured by the Germans after his ship was torpedoed. Learning important information about German submarine movements and managed to escape, drawing fire as he helped others to flee. He lived on raw vegetables in the countryside until he swam to safety across the Rhine River. He was awarded the Medal of Honor. He served as Democratic Congressman, 1936-1947, and in his later years raised beef cattle and lived in Bethesda, Maryland. His wife, Agnes Cabell Izac, died in 1975. He is survived by five children, one of whom is U.S. Navy Chaplain, Commander Carroll A. Izac.”

He is buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Representative from California; born in Cresco, Howard County, Iowa, December 18, 1891; attended the School of the Assumption, Cresco, Iowa, the high school at South St. Paul, Minn., and Werntz Preparatory School, Annapolis, Md.; was graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1915; served in the United States Navy as ensign, lieutenant (jg), and senior lieutenant until forced to retire in 1921 on account of wounds received while a prisoner of war in Germany; awarded Congressional Medal of Honor, the Croce di Guerra of Italy, and the Cross of Montenegro; located in San Diego, Calif., and engaged in newspaper work and writing 1922-1928; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1934 to the Seventy-fourth Congress; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1940 and 1944; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1937-January 3, 1947); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1946 to the Eightieth Congress; interested in lumbering; raised thoroughbred cattle on a farm in Gordonsville, Va., before residing in Bethesda, Md.; was a  resident of Fairfax, Va., from 1988 until his death there on January 18, 1990; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.



Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Aboard German submarine U-90 as prisoner of war, 21 May 1918. Entered service at: Illinois. Born: 18 December 1891, Cresco, Howard County, lowa.


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.

Note: Edouard Victor Isaacs changed his name to IZAK after visiting France and learning of the original spelling of the Isaacs ancestors. Subsequently, he changed his children's names to IZAK as well.

evwizacThe “Tiffany Medal of Honor” awarded to Commander Izac.


izac-ph2A photograph of Commander Izac taken about a year before his death in 1990.

izacph3A newspaper photo depicting Commander Izac holding his “Tiffany Medal of Honor.”

izac-phoA contemporary article and photo of Commander Izac.




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