Captain Bill Overstreet Passes Away at Age 92

Capt. Bill Overstreet

Roanoke, VA - A prominent Hero from the Heart of Virginia has passed away. Captain Bill Overstreet passed away on Sunday at the age of 92.

Bill Overstreet's immediate family was relatively small; a widower who had no children.

In recent years his fame ignited the interest of many from all over the world.

He's best known around the world as the man who shot down a German fighter while flying beneath the Eiffel Tower during World War II.

For the last few weeks Overstreet was at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, but the war hero never let go of what made him who he was.

"He was a fighter. He was always a perfect gentleman as he always was," said Anne Mason Keller, Overstreet's niece. "He was concise, focused, with a delightful sense of humor and a twinkle in his eyes."

Keller says he was like a father to her.

She says what people will miss most will be his sense of humor, and also the humility of a great man who always insisted that the credit go elsewhere.

"He was always humble," Keller said. "Whenever the press interviewed him he would always say, 'I didn't do anything great. We were always a team."

Officially Overstreet flew more than 100 missions shooting down 2.5 German planes.

Unofficially the number of missions is more than 200 and the number of enemy kills at more than a dozen.

Fighting until the end, Captain Overstreet finally surrendered, knowing it would be the reunification of one of World War Two's greatest air units.

"He was struggling to breathe," Keller said. "Struggling to stay alive and full of faith that he knew it was time for him to meet his veteran mates in heaven."

Keller says in his final years she collaborated with her uncle for an upcoming book that will include many of those unofficial missions Overstreet flew in support of the C-I-A's predecessor: The O-S-S.

Memorial services are Saturday, January 4, 2:00 p.m., at Second Presbyterian Church. Interment will take place at 1:00 p.m. Saturday from Evergreen Burial Park.

Viewings will be at Oakey Funeral Home, The Roanoke Chapel on Friday, January 3, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.