The American Pilot Who Chased a German Fighter Under the Eiffel Tower

Craig Fitzgerald
January 4, 2014

While most of the country was mesmerized by the racially and sexually insensitive comments of a hillbilly who makes duck calls, William Overstreet, Jr. was quietly laid to rest in Roanoke, Virginia. In one of the pivotal moments of World War II, he flew his P-51C “Berlin Express” under the Eiffel Tower, in pursuit of a German Messerschmitt BF109G. Bad. Ass. According to the Roanoke Times, he maneuvered his plane beneath the arches of the Eiffel Tower, reigniting the spirit of the French Resistance troops on the ground.

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

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The Roanoke Times reported that 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.


Overstreet accepted the French Legion of Honor at the age of 88. He returned from World War II and married Nita Brackens, who preceded him in death. Overstreet was an accountant until he retired at 65. He continued to work with charities and veterans’ causes.

An enthusiastic salute to a true hero of world history. Our caps are humbly doffed.

Image Source: Warbird Information Exchange, painting by Len Krenzler