An artistic depiction of Overstreet’s P51 Mustang chasing an ME 109 beneath Eiffel Tower Arches in 1944.

World War II hero, William Overstreet Jr., died at the age of 92 this Sunday. He was loved and remembered for his heroic act of flying his aircraft between the Eiffel Tower’s arches to take German plane down. As stated in his obituary, he was died at a hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. It doesn’t have any particular reason of death.

Overstreet in his early military days
Overstreet in his early military days

Overstreet flying machine was P-51C ‘Berlin Express’; he flew it in a place full of Nazis. His heroic act, in 1944, boosted up the morale of the French troops.

Overstreet was presented with France's Legion of Honour in 2009
Overstreet was presented with France’s Legion of Honour in 2009

French ambassador to the United States presented France’s Legion of Honor William Overstreet Jr. The ceremony was held in 2009 at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. The times, before he was awarded with this award, he said that if he got it, he would be accepting it as the remembrance of his fallen fellows. His words are directing towards his friends Eddy Simpson, who had died fighting Nazis. Overstreet was lucky enough to escape.

Overstreet with his aircraft P-51 ‘Berlin Express’ which he flew beneath the Eiffel Tower

After getting the award, he said, ‘If I said, “Thank you,” it wouldn’t be enough,’ before adding: ‘What more than “thank you” do you need?’

It was not the only award he got; in his whole life he got hundreds of them.
In 1921, William Overstreet Jr. was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia. In 1944, his aircraft and German planes were seen firing at one another. Overstreet got lucky to hit the engine of the enemy plane. The troubled German pilot continued to fight and flew the plane below Eiffel Tower – Overstreet wasn’t hesitated and flew behind him and took down the German plane.

In 1943, Overstreet is pictured with his cherished 1938 Buick in California
In 1943, Overstreet is pictured with his cherished 1938 Buick in California

People were witnessing this heroic act that time. French dignitary, Bernard Marie, said ‘My father began shouting out me – “I have to meet this man. This guy has done even more than what people are thinking. He lifted the spirit of the French.’

He ended his duty in France in October 1944 and came back home to U.S.
Whenever the press ask him about the bravery he showed, he says, “I didn’t do anything, we were a team”.

Overstreet, in 2013, at Warbirds Over the Beach
Overstreet, in 2013, at Warbirds Over the Beach

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