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Southwest Virginia remembers WWII veteran Bill Overstreet

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ROANOKE, VA -

World War II Veteran Bill Overstreet is being remembered across southwest Virginia.

According to an Oakey's Funeral Home obituary, he died around 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 29 at Carilion Hospital after three weeks of hospitalization for multiple physical challenges.

Overstreet was born in Clifton Forge and eventually joined the U.S. Army Air Corps.

A local World War II veteran is being remembered tonight across southwest Virginia.

Bill Overstreet died on Sunday at the age of 92.

WSLS has done many interviews with him over the years -- listening to his stories and his memories of the war.

A picture of two planes flying under the Eiffel Tower is well known throughout southwest Virginia and beyond. Overstreet's talked about chasing a German aircraft under the landmark.

"Well it was just a routine mission," Bill Overstreet told WSLS in a 2010 interview.

Whenever he talked about it, Overstreet was humble. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service.

"Bill just wasn't the flamboyant type, he kept to himself a lot," said J. Pat Green who ate lunch with Overstreet every Wednesday.

Overstreet's stories include being shot down three times and flying blind.

"He flew the P51 in Russia, Italy and in England. Mainly in England because he protected the bombers that were flying over as escort," said Green. "He chose not to stay in the Army, that's why he was only a Captain but he could have been a general or something."

"After his distinguished military career 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," said Anne Keller, Overstreet's niece. "He loved this area, these were his extended family. He was very active until his very last day."

Speaking at schools, veterans events and the National D-Day Memorial.

"Bill was real famous. He never turned down an invitation to come speak. He always spoke and he was always good about that," said Green.

"He told me his average emails were between 40-60 a day. He was always active and his mother always taught us in life it is better to wear out than to rust out and Bill Overstreet went to heaven when his body just plain wore out," said Keller.

Memorial services are Saturday, January 4, 2:00 p.m., at Second Presbyterian Church, 214 Mountain Avenue, S.W., Roanoke. Interment will take place at 1:00 p.m. Saturday from Evergreen Burial Park. Viewings will be at Oakey Funeral Home, The Roanoke Chapel, Friday, January 3, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., 318 Church Avenue, S.W., Roanoke, Virginia 24016.

In honor of Captain Overstreet's devotion to the 357th U.S. Army Air Corps Squadron, one the most successful of World War II, the family asks those attending the Memorial Service to please consider wearing something either or both red and yellow, the squadron's colors.

Those who wish to make contributions in Mr. Overstreet's memory are asked to please consider The Roanoke Salvation Army, 724 Dale Avenue, S.E, Roanoke, Virginia.

Online condolences can be made at www.oakeys.com.

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