1944. Pilot Officer W. Overstreet Jr, visits Paris, in style…

imagesA World War II fighter pilot who gained fame for dramatically flying beneath the Eiffel Tower’s arches to take down a German Messerschmitt 109, has died aged 92. William Overstreet Jr. died on Sunday at a hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. Pilot Officer W. Overstreet Jr famously flew his P-51C ‘Berlin Express’ beneath the Eiffel Tower in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, which has been credited with lifting the spirits of Free French Resistance troops on the groundarticle-2533373-1A67091C00000578-219_634x484.

For his valiant service, the French ambassador to the United States presented Overstreet with France’s Legion of Honor at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford in 2009. WWII fighter pilot who flew THROUGH the Eiffel Tower dies in Virginia aged 92 In the spring of 1944, he was following a German Messerschmitt 109 over Paris, when the two planes entered into a duelling dog-fight.035

High up over Paris ‘Overstreet’ eventually hit the Messerschmitt’s engine. As the German pilot desperately sought to out-maneuver ‘Overstreet’, he flew beneath the Eiffel Tower – but the brave American Pilot flew directly beneath it and continued to press home his attack with withering fire. The Messerschmitt crashed, and Overstreet was able to escape back to the skies over the city, from where he made his way back to base.

As each day passes we lose true heroes from WWII. We should never forget any of them. Yours Aye.

8 thoughts on “1944. Pilot Officer W. Overstreet Jr, visits Paris, in style…”

  1. It looks like, from the painting, that the German went under the tower, too. But I guess he didn’t live to brag about it. RIP, sir. I don’t think our jest could do that today under combat, dog-fighting conditions.

    1. Coffeypot, going back several (or more) years ago, I was in a bar/cafe on or around the ‘Place de la Résistance’ late one evening (obviously I was seven sheets to the wind by this time,). But I vividly recall a huge detailed charcoal drawing of W. Overstreet Jr’s event, that had been drawn directly to the wall, which had been lacquered over to preserve it. I am almost certain it was dated 1947.
      (Back then the lacquer may well have been layers of nicotine)!

      I asked of the story behind it, and I was mesmerised by the answer I was given. The drawing was so detailed because it had been witnessed by the artist at the time of happening, who had to wait until Paris fell to the allies,to draw the same.

      By all accounts a very brave American who continued to attribute to society all throughout his life.


    1. Lou, an amazing story, which at the time gave the good people of Free France an amazing lift towards their struggle against Nazism. Aye.

  2. And bravery isn’t defined by age….a fine human being has gone home to God…and we can celebrate the life of an American patriot…thank you, sir and RIP…k

    1. Kristen, the piece I wrote on the QR bar-code technology would pay tribute all time to come. People of his ilk should never be forgotten for what they gave. Aye.

  3. I love Mr. Overstreet’s moxie! On another note, all of my uncles who fought in Europe during WW 2 have passed, the last one leaving us in February 2013. God bless them.

  4. Lauren, Regarding Mr. Overstreet’s moxie; it was all the more daring as the Messerschmitt pilot had every thing to gain through his manoeuvre. The fact that he was followed through the arch whilst the action continued, with guns blazing shows the sterling stuff Pilot Officer Overstreet was made of. Right up until the day of his passing.

    You must be very proud of your family for what they gave… Aye.

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