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Friday, January 03, 2014

William Overstreet Jr. passes away at the age of 92

This is a photo of William Overstreet Jr. of Roanoke, Virginia, taken in recent years:

william overstreet jr., world war ii, roanoke, virginia
Photo Credit: The Roanoke Times

Mr. Overstreet passed away this past Sunday afternoon.  He was 92, and one of the most decorated airmen of World War II.

This is a photo of Bill Overstreet when he served in the Army Air Force during the war:

william overstreet jr, world war ii

And this is the maneuver that forever put Overstreet in the history books:

william overstreet jr, bill overstreet, eiffel tower, paris, france, world war ii, messerschmitt
This dude engaged in a dogfight with a German Messerschmitt Bf 109G over Nazi-occupied Paris.  And Overstreet, flying his P-51C, chased the Messerschmitt by flying through the arches of the Eiffel Tower!!  Overstreet soon after blasted the Nazi plane out of the sky.  It was a move that sent the morale of the French freedom fighters soaring.

Now... that is seriously hardcore.

Overstreet, a pilot in the357th squadron, was the recipient of hundreds of medals during his time of service.  In 2009 he was awarded France’s Legion of Honor during a ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.

Now he is gone, but not to be forgotten.

Rest well, noble hero.  Your generation really was the greatest... and you were one of the best of them.

Read more about the extraordinary life and achievements of William Overstreet Jr. at The Roanoke Times website.


Anonymous said...

Bill was one of my dearest friends. He was most modest. He would want me to share that no one receives hundreds of medals. This is an error which must be corrected. Bill is the recipient of two Silver Stars, six Distinguished Flying Crosses, fifteen Air Medals, and the French Legion of Honor. Bill's only request to me was "All I want is Eddie Simpson remembered." See www.cebudanderson.com to learn of Eddie Simpson's heroism and death. Eddie Simpson was KIA fighting the Germans in a ground action; after being forced down on his last mission. He saved the lives of hundreds of French Resistance Fighters from certain death. Eddie's action is a Medal of Honor citation that was never read. For God & Country, Chaplain (Major) Jeffrey Clemens