World War II veteran William B. “Bill” Overstreet will live long in Virginia’s memory. A famous face at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Overstreet lived in the Roanoke area and passed away on December 29, 2013, at the age of 92.
According to WSLS10 news, Overstreet was a humble and patriotic man. He enjoyed speaking at the National D-Day Memorial and interacted well with school groups, civic organizations, and the general public.
Overstreet's stories include being shot down several times and even flying blind. His most famous action was flying his “Berlin Express” under the Eiffel Tower in Paris and escaping a crashing German plane. Artwork commemorating this event can be found here. The picture is well known throughout southwest Virginia. When Overstreet talked about chasing the German beneath the tower, he replied that it “was just a routine mission." One of his greatest honors was being awarded France’s Legion of Honor by the French ambassador to the U.S. in 2009.
According to Overstreet’s niece, he had “one of the finest CPA careers in the country and at one time did the taxes and estate planning for one third of the U.S. Senate although most people don't know that. He was humble, his great humility was his greatest strength.” Anne Keller states, "he loved this area, these were his extended family. He was very active until his very last day."
Captain Overstreet's devotion to the 357th U.S. Army Air Corps Squadron and veterans stayed with him all his life. He glowed when recounting stories at the National D-Day Memorial and through those stories, Overstreet will be remembered as a true American hero.