RIP William Overstreet, A World War II Fighter Ace Who Flew Through the Eiffel Tower

Captain William Overstreet Jr. died in Roanoke, Virginia at the age of 92. During World War II, he flew a P-51 Mustang fighter plane. During the liberation of France, he performed one of the most daring fighter combat actions ever witnessed.

You can read an extensive wartime biography here. Captain Overstreet was a daring and aggressive pilot. During training, he did loops around the Golden Gate Bridge. Later, in Europe, during the spring of 1944, he had escort duty on a bomber mission. He chased after a German fighter plane through central Paris:

The German’s engine was hit, and 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.

(Len Krenzler/Action Art)

For his wartime record, the French ambassador to the United States presented Captain Overstreet with the Legion of Honor in 2009.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

(Photo: Roanoke Star)


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This is a fair point. I wanted to mention his rank, too. But I didn't see it mentioned in the articles (admittedly I wrote this post in a hurry and only skimmed the sources). Since you've supplied it, I've added it. Thank you.

It's not obvious to readers, but I would like to note that Neatorama posts are written very quickly. We're not really journalists. I've certainly never called myself that.
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I would have liked this interesting article even more if Captain Overstreet's rank was stated at least once. In addition to being proper journalism, it shows respect for his service to his country.
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