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Oral history interview of Mr. Edward Izbicky. Interview conducted by Daniela Aguirre at Oakmonte Village in Lake Mary, Florida on April 4, 2019.


0:32 Birth and Childhood; 1:13 Parents Occupation; 1:58 Education; 2:27 Family in Service; 2:53 Prior to Joining Air Force; 4:04 Why Air Force; 5:30 Army Infantry/The Draft; 6:32 Training; 9:07 Korean War; 12:44 Flying Accident; 14:32 POW; 19:40 Release From POW; 20:07 Going Back Into Service; 23:00 Reunion With Family; 25:00 Continuing To Serve; 29:26 Loyalty To The Military; 30:28 Stationed In Wisconsin; 32:43 Being An Instructor; 34:49 Memorable Experiences; 37:31 Vietnam; 38:55 Injuries; 41:21 Awards; 42:48 Retirement; 44:00 Post Military; 47:17 Kennedy Space Center; 48:00 Reentering Civilian Life; 51:40 Veterans Groups; 55:20 Recommending Military Service; 57:06 Constructing An American Flag; 1:01:45 Smuggling Out The American Flag; 1:02:19 Story In L.A. Times Magazine; 1:03:29 Conclusion.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Punxsutawney (Pa.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Korean War



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Air Force

Unit of Service

336 Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing USAF (during Korean War when shot down)

Location of Service

Korea; Reno (Nev.); Topeka (Kan.); Albany (Ga.); Orlando (Fla.)

Highest Rank

Major; Maj

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Prisoner of War Medal; Purple Heart


The veteran was a USAF pilot flying F86 Sabre jet over China. He was shot down and held as POW; Served in 3 wars (WWII in Army, Korean and Vietnam USAF). He was highlighted in newspapers and publications across the USA for his heroism in not breaking under communist torture/pressure to confess to germ warfare. hand-sewed a patriotic US flag in secret while in captivity, at great risk to himself, that he smuggled out of the prison camp at the end of the war; that flag is still displayed in his home. He also flew 26 missions over Korea.


"In 1953, as a fighter pilot during the Korean War, Edward was shot down over North Korea, captured, and handed over to the Chinese as a prisoner of war. For the next eight months, Edward was interrogated, tortured, and kept in solitary confinement. He faced three firing squads and even dug his own grave; all part of the physical and psychological torture POWs endured. Despite the torture, he commandeered supplies and sewed an American flag in secret and smuggled it out of the prison camp when released after the war ended...as a symbol of his patriotism and resolve.” – The interviewer. “This flag still hangs in our home today and we have many items of interest from his captivity; Edward has served on Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyers Veterans Advisory Council for many years until his age and health prohibited his driving." - Linda Izbicky

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Aguirre, Daniela

Interview Date

Spring 4-4-2019

Location of Interview

Oakmonte Home, Lake Mary, Florida


Izbicky, Edward George; Korean Conflict -- Personal narratives; United States. Air Force

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES University of Central Florida


Aguirre, Daniela

Length of Interview

64 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type