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WWII veteran William Overstreet Jr. celebrated for flight in France (under Eiffel Tower in dogfight)
The Roanoke Times ^ | December 31, 2013 | Tiffany Holland

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 Oakey’s Funeral Home. One of his greatest honors was receiving France’s 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.

Overstreet’s 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 didn’t understand the true importance of Overstreet’s flight until he spoke with his father.

(Excerpt) Read more at roanoke.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 296; aviation; dogfight; eiffeltower; france; frenchresistance; germany; overstreet; paris; ww2; wwii
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This guy was Sierra Hotel! A real live hero from America's "greatest generation."

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!"

And Vive le Resistance!! (Everywhere)


1 posted on 01/02/2014 11:36:14 AM PST by Perseverando
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To: Perseverando

What a man!

Under the E-Tower.

Now, THAT’s what I’m talking about.

Rest in peace, and our thanks to you.


2 posted on 01/02/2014 11:40:42 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Perseverando

Look at those eyes. Both photos. The man was a bullfighter.


3 posted on 01/02/2014 11:41:07 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Perseverando

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!


4 posted on 01/02/2014 11:43:23 AM PST by BCW (Salva reipublicae)
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To: Perseverando

I think he and Yeager were in the air together back in the day. RIP.


5 posted on 01/02/2014 11:44:03 AM PST by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
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To: Perseverando

RIP.


6 posted on 01/02/2014 11:45:31 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Perseverando

A seriously Hot Rock. Well done, sir.


7 posted on 01/02/2014 11:46:17 AM PST by Colonel_Flagg (Some people meet their heroes. I raised mine. Go Army.)
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To: Da Coyote
Under the E-Tower.

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.

8 posted on 01/02/2014 11:47:58 AM PST by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: Perseverando

9 posted on 01/02/2014 11:53:50 AM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: Perseverando

“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.


10 posted on 01/02/2014 11:55:10 AM PST by FAA
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To: Perseverando; FAA

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”
http://www.warbirdsnews.com/warbird-articles/wwii-veteran-aviator-bill-overstreet-p-51-mustang-berlin-express.html
JULY 31, 2013


11 posted on 01/02/2014 12:02:41 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Colonel_Flagg
I wanted to let you know how much I like your tag line. My son is in Afghanistan and we're able to chat on facebook. I sent him a copy of it. He should see it tomorrow when he wakes up.

Thank you.

12 posted on 01/02/2014 12:04:32 PM PST by reformed_democrat ("... it's a dishonor to leave your allies." President Traian Basescu, Romania)
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To: Perseverando
I think we have an issue with the writer not being familiar with Air Force units. There is mention here of a Bill Overstreet flying a P-51 with the 357th Fighter Group.

http://www.cebudanderson.com/inmemory.htm

According to Wiki (I know, not much better) the 357th Squadron flew Bolts.

13 posted on 01/02/2014 12:06:20 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

ping


14 posted on 01/02/2014 12:07:11 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker
According to Wiki

I think I see your problem.

See Post #11

15 posted on 01/02/2014 12:09:46 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: reformed_democrat

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.


16 posted on 01/02/2014 12:15:29 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg (Some people meet their heroes. I raised mine. Go Army.)
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To: FAA
Looking at some aviation artwork, it's a P-51 and the date is given as Spring 1944 -

https://web.archive.org/web/20111123013201/http://www.actionart.ca/index.html

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 -


17 posted on 01/02/2014 12:25:25 PM PST by az_gila
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To: thackney
Hey, thanks for the Warbirds article!

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!!

18 posted on 01/02/2014 12:30:24 PM PST by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: thackney
Bill was actually the second to fly under the arches. The German he was chasing with his P-51C did it first.

Good point. But he was the only one to do it and survive, thanks to shooting the 1st guy down.

19 posted on 01/02/2014 12:32:54 PM PST by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: az_gila

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.


20 posted on 01/02/2014 12:33:25 PM PST by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Perseverando; thackney

I’m not posting it because it may be copyrighted, but there is a great painting of the Eiffel Tower incident at the link.


21 posted on 01/02/2014 12:35:12 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Perseverando
he was the only one to do it and survive

Very good point. Rather the point of the whole event.

22 posted on 01/02/2014 12:36:21 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: zot

USAAF ping


23 posted on 01/02/2014 12:43:08 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Perseverando

In my town they had a bridge that connected the upper part of town to the valley below. The bridge was 150 feet high and had a 40 wide road passing underneath.
One of our towns WW2 P 51 pilots got drunk and was bored so he flew his little Cessna through the gap where the road was and underneath the bridge.
Hurrah for our Ww2 guys


24 posted on 01/02/2014 12:49:29 PM PST by South Dakota (shut up and build a bakken pipe line)
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To: Red Badger; All
Not quite as good..but pretty neat...from " 30 Seconds Over Tokyo " , the bomber flies UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge ..sequence starts at at the 3:20 mark

Beautiful score also

25 posted on 01/02/2014 12:51:48 PM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: South Dakota

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-Springs-SD-Town-View-College-Hill-Viaduct-Postcard-1937-/370661418257


26 posted on 01/02/2014 12:52:45 PM PST by South Dakota (shut up and build a bakken pipe line)
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To: Perseverando

Unfortunately in today’s military if he did something like that he’d be grounded and sent for retraining and loss of rank.


27 posted on 01/02/2014 12:54:07 PM PST by SkyDancer ("How Can People Ask Forgiveness If They Won't Forgive Others?")
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To: SkyDancer
A pair of Navy pilots ( GaTech grads) lost their wings for THIS fly-over
28 posted on 01/02/2014 1:01:41 PM PST by ken5050 (This space available cheap...)
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To: Perseverando
while chasing a German aircraft during the war

Sure, nice story for the brass. Fighter pilots don't need a reason to do stunts like that, other than just animal spirits.

29 posted on 01/02/2014 1:09:03 PM PST by expat2
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To: ken5050

FAA rules about flying over crowds is you must be more than 1500ft above. What if one of those jets flamed out while passing over or somehow malfunctioned and slammed into the stadium. Was the flight authorized by the Navy or just done on a whim? Just saying.


30 posted on 01/02/2014 1:16:06 PM PST by SkyDancer ("How Can People Ask Forgiveness If They Won't Forgive Others?")
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To: Perseverando

Wow...a very rare old bold pilot.

Sad to see him leave us.


31 posted on 01/02/2014 1:20:00 PM PST by rottndog ('Live Free Or Die' Ain't just words on a bumber sticker...or a tagline.)
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To: Red Badger

Sacre bleu! ‘Wonder if he could’ve banked 90° without a turn and made it through the section above.

RIP William Overstreet Jr.


32 posted on 01/02/2014 1:26:20 PM PST by onedoug
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To: ken5050

There is youtube video of an airshow in the 50s and airforce f-100 t birds flew lower than the control tower in a high speed pass.One of the most awesome things I have ever seen.Check it out.


33 posted on 01/02/2014 2:11:39 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: Perseverando

The guy high speed low dreg.RIP Sir.What a rush that had to have been.That would be real hard to top in the rest of your life.


34 posted on 01/02/2014 2:14:23 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping! May he rest in peace.


35 posted on 01/02/2014 2:51:22 PM PST by zot
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To: ken5050
A similarly a dang impressive flyover at Kinnick stadium in 2010 cost the lead pilot of the four plane group his wings. Yes we loved it and yes we have loads of faith in these pilots. However accidents can happen and one in such settings would cause a sh*tload of bad PR. The brass is right to avoid that by whatever means it takes.
36 posted on 01/02/2014 3:00:01 PM PST by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: JohnBovenmyer
A similarly dang impressive flyover at Kinnick stadium in 2010 cost the lead pilot of the four plane group his wings. Yes we loved it and yes we have loads of faith in these pilots. However accidents can happen and one in such settings would cause a sh*tload of bad PR. The brass is right to avoid that by whatever means it takes.

* corrected post with link activated *

37 posted on 01/02/2014 3:02:25 PM PST by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: rottndog

“Bill stayed on his tail braving the intense enemy flak. His desperation undoubtedly growing, the German pilot aimed his plane at the Eiffel Tower and in a surprising maneuver, flew beneath it. Undeterred, Bill followed right behind him, scoring several more hits in the process. The German plane crashed and Bill escaped the heavy flak around Paris by flying low and full throttle over the river until he had cleared the city’s heavy anti-aircraft batteries.”

Bold indeed. What a fighter! You’re mine kraut!


38 posted on 01/02/2014 5:31:57 PM PST by theneanderthal
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To: colorado tanker

Uh the 357th would have been a US ARMY Air Force unit. (todays zoomies hate to be reminded of that historical fact)


39 posted on 01/02/2014 6:24:21 PM PST by DMZFrank
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To: Perseverando

How did a guy with a pair the size he had to have manage to sit in a cramp fighter plane seat?


40 posted on 01/02/2014 6:35:33 PM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Kartographer

Casablanca La Marseillaise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM-E2H1ChJM


41 posted on 01/02/2014 6:36:53 PM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Perseverando
He Flew in the same squadron as Chuck Yeager the 357'th. They flew P-51 D's as well as other models. I have a signed portrait (#381 of 400) signed by Chuck and 4 others from his squadron:

Charles E. Yeager

William 'O Bee' O'Brien

James McLane

Harvey Mace

Charles E. Weaver

I wish Bill Overstreet Jr. had signed it as well!

God Bless and God speed Bill.

42 posted on 01/02/2014 7:04:01 PM PST by Mat_Helm
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To: Mat_Helm
Correction: They were in the same Fighter Group 357’th part of the 66th Fighter Wing of the 8th Air Force. Yeager was in the 363rd Squadron. I don't know which Squadron Overstreet was in.
43 posted on 01/02/2014 7:13:38 PM PST by Mat_Helm
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To: Mat_Helm
363rd Fighter SQD. - 357th Fighter Group

Same fighter group, different squadron.

44 posted on 01/03/2014 5:49:06 AM PST by Freeport (The proper application of high explosives will remove all obstacles.)
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To: Perseverando

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 didn’t understand its true importance until he spoke with his father.

“My father began shouting at me — ‘I have to meet this man,’ ” Marie said. Members of the French Resistance had seen his flight and it inspired them, including Marie’s father, he said.

“This guy has done even more than what people are thinking,” Marie said. “He lifted the spirit of the French.”

Marie was born into Nazi-occupied France and remembers the Allied troops coming to his home to liberate his family, forever giving him an appreciation for American WWII veterans. It led to a friendship with Overstreet as soon as they met.

Marie said Overstreet “was a countryman and a wonderful man. He was very humble.”

Timesdisparch.com


45 posted on 01/03/2014 8:22:33 AM PST by HollyB
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To: Perseverando

What an incredible man and hero he was. The details of this story were really touching. Reading about men like this who inspired so many and fought for the entire worlds freedom from tyranny renews my pride and faith in our country. Things are looking rough these days, but we are built on a solid core.


46 posted on 01/03/2014 8:27:28 AM PST by HollyB
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To: HollyB

Did you read the much more detailed history of his training, close calls and missions? He survived several almost fatal aviation “incidents.”

WWII Veteran Aviator Bill Overstreet and His P-51 Mustang, “Berlin Express”
http://www.warbirdsnews.com/warbird-articles/wwii-veteran-aviator-bill-overstreet-p-51-mustang-berlin-express.html

BTW, Drudge was carrying a headline attached to a very short article this morning - http://www.wtop.com/120/3534894/WWII-ace-who-flew-through-Eiffel-Tower-dies-in-Va


47 posted on 01/03/2014 9:03:48 AM PST by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: Perseverando

Thanks. I will check it out now.


48 posted on 01/03/2014 11:04:37 AM PST by HollyB
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To: Perseverando
I wonder if he was flying a P-51? Anybody know what the 357th was flying?

Here is a post from another web site.

Thomas S Colones January 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm #
My condolences to his family and friends and he served this nation well in war and peace. Great P-51 pilot with the 357th FG in WW II. I see on this Youtube interview with Mr Overstreet he speaks here about “liberating” a Me-262 from a German airfield in occupied territory and flying it back to Ailled lines with the help of the French. Can anyone add more to this ????? Thanks ! TC

Really pathetic reporting, they identify the Me109G but couldn't waste the energy to identify the American aircraft flown by Mr. Overstreet. I remember when anyone that clueless would not hold a newspaper job very long.

49 posted on 01/03/2014 5:27:55 PM PST by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: Perseverando

Interment is in 10 minutes. His memorial service is this afternoon at 2:00 pm in Roanoke according to the funeral home obit. - http://www.memorialsolutions.com/sitemaker/sites/Oakeys1/memsol.cgi?user_id=1204221

You can sign and read the funeral home guestbook online (only 19 entries so far) - http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/Batesville/guestbook.aspx?n=william-overstreet&pid=168842356

It’s all yours, Freepers. Go for it.

Gotta run. Got a memorial service to attend at 2:00 pm. Will provide after action later today.


50 posted on 01/04/2014 9:49:23 AM PST by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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