Edouard Izac-Iowa Hero
In the course of writing my latest novel, Aaron’s War, I have come across so many good stories. Most of the stories do not find the way into my books or end up becoming a minor reference or character. Edourard Izac was a minor reference.
Edouard Izac was born in Cresco, Iowa, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1915. In 1918 his ship the USS President Abraham Lincoln, was sunk by a German submarine. He survived and was taken aboard the German submarine as a prisoner of war. On board he obtained valuable information about German U-boats, which were vital to U. S. interests. He made several attempts to escape, including jumping from the window of a moving train. He later succeeded and escaped.
His Medal of Honor citation reads as follows:
When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, on May 21, 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 was 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.