Skip to comments.WWII veteran William Overstreet Jr. celebrated for flight in France (under Eiffel Tower in dogfight)
Posted on 01/02/2014 11:36:14 AM PST by Perseverando
Roanoke lost one of its most decorated World War II veterans last weekend. Former fighter pilot William Overstreet Jr., famous for flying beneath the arches of the Eiffel Tower while chasing a German aircraft during the war, died Sunday afternoon. He was 92.
Overstreet was awarded hundreds of medals for his service in the 357th squadron of the U.S. Army Air Forces, according to his obituary for Oakeys Funeral Home. One of his greatest honors was receiving Frances Legion of Honor by the French ambassador to the U.S. in 2009 at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.
At the ceremony, the French ambassador said Overstreet led some of the most heroic actions that we have ever heard of during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
Overstreets most famous flight came while in solo pursuit of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G flying into Nazi-occupied Paris. He maneuvered his plane beneath the arches of the Eiffel Tower, re-igniting the spirit of the French Resistance troops on the ground.
One of those French Resistance fighters was the father of Bernard Marie. A French dignitary who has hosted D-Day events every year since 1984, Marie said he met Overstreet in 1994. He knew Overstreet was well-known for his flight underneath the Eiffel Tower but didnt understand the true importance of Overstreets flight until he spoke with his father.
(Excerpt) Read more at roanoke.com ...
An obvious error in the article: "Overstreet was awarded hundreds of medals for his service in the 357th squadron..." (I don't think so.)
On behalf of myself and my fellow Freepers, "We thank you for your service and we salute you!"
What a man!
Under the E-Tower.
Now, THAT’s what I’m talking about.
Rest in peace, and our thanks to you.
Look at those eyes. Both photos. The man was a bullfighter.
I bet this WW II 92 yr old could beat the PJ’s off of Obama’s pajama boy wearing freak!....too bad he’s gone - but he’s with comrades and friends now and doesn’t have to watch the country he fought so hard for die in decades to come!
I think he and Yeager were in the air together back in the day. RIP.
A seriously Hot Rock. Well done, sir.
Yep! While chasing a ME-109.
I wonder if he was flying a P-51? Anybody know what the 357th was flying?
I believe I have seen his flight under the Eiffel Tower reenacted in a WWII movie, if not mistaken.
“I wonder if he was flying a P-51? Anybody know what the 357th was flying? “
They went from Jugs to P-51s in April ‘44 so depends on the date.
Bill was actually the second to fly under the arches. The German he was chasing with his P-51C did it first.
WWII Veteran Aviator Bill Overstreet and His P-51 Mustang, Berlin Express
JULY 31, 2013
According to Wiki (I know, not much better) the 357th Squadron flew Bolts.
I think I see your problem.
See Post #11
You are very welcome. I wish I could take credit for it — I saw it first on a t-shirt of another Army dad and was moved nearly to tears.
May God bless your son and please thank him for his service for me.
The artist says this
“Bill Overstreet chases an ME109 right under the Eiffel Tower! - Spring of 1944
Signed by Bill Overstreet - 357th Fighter Group - Legion of Honor Recipient”
I'm sure Bill Overstreet would not have signed a print with the wrong aircraft shown.
Hope this link works -
Good grief, he survived some really close calls. Apparently he was blessed with an abundance of luck, skill and God's protection. What an aviator!!
Good point. But he was the only one to do it and survive, thanks to shooting the 1st guy down.
Geez, and I thought that flying down the Grand Canyon or under the Golden Gate Bridge was kewl! Truly the greatest generation. They inspired me to fly. Those were the days. Those were the guys. Sadly, mostly all gone now.
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