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. Considered by many a legend for his incredible maneuver, 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 motivations of the French Resistance troops on the ground.
Warbirds News had the honor to meet Bil during the last Warbirds Over The Beach, the full interview can be read here. Bill was active and enjoying air shows and gatherings of WWII veterans through his long retirement, and we were honored that he took the time to sit down and talk to us about his experiences.
Overstreet was honored in 2009 for his World War Two heroics. The French Ambassador presented him the “Legion of Honor,” France’s highest award.
Memorial services for Overstreet will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, according to Oakey’s, with interment at 1 p.m. Saturday at Evergreen Burial Park. His obituary states that his family requests those attending the memorial service consider wearing something either or both red and yellow, his squadron’s colors, and contributions be sent to the Roanoke Salvation Army ( Source Newsadvance.com).