Ellie Oakes

Edwin Igou’s banner hanging in front of State Farm Insurance on Pennsylvania Avenue

Edwin Igou – US Army, 1941-1945

Edwin Daniel Igou (1913-1994) served in the US Army during World War II from 1941-1945. He was an infantry soldier in the campaigns through Northern Africa, Italy, and Germany.

Igou was honored to serve his country and to be part of the Greatest Generation. He enlisted into the service eight months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

During World War II, Igou fought in Operation Torch, as was a part of the Casablanca Invasion Troops.

He enlisted eight months before Pearl Harbor, knowing that he may be needed to go and defend our country and their allies. The selflessness of that generation is just hard to put into words”

— Grandson Brian Igou

Operation Torch was the Allied invasion of French North Africa during World War II. American General Dwight D. Eisenhower planned a three-pronged attack on Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center), and Algiers (Eastern). After a successful attack on these three, the allied powers met up at Tunis to catch the Axis forces in North Africa.

In April 1944, a letter was published in the Tyrone Waring Canteen News from Edwin Igou giving thanks to the Tyrone community and the other soldiers from Tyrone he was serving with:

“Dear Friends of Canteen News: Just a few lines of appreciation for sending the Canteen News. It’s sure welcome to hear that the folks at home are backing the fighting men. There are two other fellows from Tyrone with me. They are Dominic De Stefano, of Twenty-first street, and Alfred Riggleman, of Decker Hollow.”

The Canteen News also included an update of where he was fighting and a hint of the optimism that soldiers had in the spring of 1944 that the war would soon be coming to an end.

“We have gone through the African campaign, Sicily and we are in Italy now– on our way to Berlin, Germany. If the weather gives us a break it won’t be long over here anymore,” said Igou in his letter home.

dog tags and military medals on a flag
Edwin’s dog tags and awards on the flag that draped his coffin at his funeral. (Photo courtesy of Brian Igou)

All three men reported being in high spirits, in good health, and very anxious to come home.

After the war, Edwin returned to Tyrone where he settled down and got married. He and his wife Madelyn (Reese) Igou raised their four children, Daniel, Stephen, Susan and Robert in Tyrone.

Igou was also blessed with five grandchildren. Although his time serving came to an end, he stayed in touch with the other veterans.

According to Igou’s grandson, Brian Igou, like many of the Greatest Generation, his grandfather didn’t brag, boast or share many stories of his service when he came home.

In fact, his family found several artifacts of his experiences in the war, but only after his passing in 1994.

“We found a German dagger with a wooden base that my father said he told him he got while fighting in Northern Africa.,” said Brian Igou. “I still have it today, proudly displayed in the house along with his flag and dog tags.”

The Igou family is proud of their grandfather’s service to his county.

“He enlisted eight months before Pearl Harbor, knowing that he may be needed to go and defend our country and their allies. The selflessness of that generation is just hard to put into words,” said Brian Igou.

Igou’s grandson is a member of the Tyrone Improvement Group and is a leader in the project to get the banners honoring Tyrone veterans up in town. He hopes that these banners bring recognition to all the people who served from Tyrone.

“I don’t think that people in Tyrone understand how many veterans we have that live, or have lived, in Tyrone,” said Brian Igou.

Edwin passed away 27 years ago, but Brian gets great pleasure when he drives down Pennsylvania Avenue and sees his grandfather’s banner. He is glad his grandfather is still getting recognition from the town he grew up in and gave back to by serving his country.