Overstreet was awarded many medals for his service in the 357th squadron of the U.S. Army Air Forces, according to his obituary for Oakey’s Funeral Home. (He passed away in 2013, he was 92 years old). One of his greatest honors was receiving France’s Legion of Honor by the French ambassador to the U.S. in 2009 at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.
At the ceremony, the French ambassador said Overstreet led “some of the most heroic actions that we have ever heard of” during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
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 spirit of the French Resistance troops on the ground.
One of those French Resistance fighters was the father of Bernard Marie. A French dignitary who has hosted D-Day events every year since 1984, Marie said he met Overstreet in 1994. He knew Overstreet was well-known for his flight underneath the Eiffel Tower but didn’t understand the true importance of Overstreet’s flight until he spoke with his father.
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