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(NPR)   In 1944 Parisians watched a half-hour dogfight that ended when the American flew his Mustang THROUGH the Eiffel tower to shoot down the German plane. The US pilot just passed at 92 after spending 70 years clanging whenever he walked   (npr.org) divider line 117
    More: Hero, Eiffel Tower, Americans, Germans, Pastor Jeff Clemmons, Legion of Honor, P-51 Mustang, occupied territories, Overstreet  
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16106 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jan 2014 at 7:20 AM (14 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-04 07:14:03 AM
Subby should read Hemingway. Fewer words is better. Principal caught she said of.
 
2014-01-04 07:25:06 AM
The Mustang was one hell of a machine
 
2014-01-04 07:27:13 AM
That flyby kicked up some dust.
 
2014-01-04 07:28:01 AM
Pure awesome.  Thanks Subby!
 
2014-01-04 07:28:17 AM
why is subby emphasizing the Eiffel tower part?

that has been done numerous times, it's not that incredible of a feat, and in this particular instance, the German pilot did the exact same thing.

I don't get the unwarranted emphasis.
 
2014-01-04 07:30:42 AM
He figured I'd try to get around and he'd have time to get away. He was wrong. I was right behind him, right under the Eiffel Tower with him. And when he pulled up, I did get him. But that's a huge space. That's not close at all. It's plenty of room to go under the Eiffel Tower. But it makes a good story.
 
2014-01-04 07:36:48 AM

calbert: why is subby emphasizing the Eiffel tower part?

that has been done numerous times, it's not that incredible of a feat, and in this particular instance, the German pilot did the exact same thing.

I don't get the unwarranted emphasis.


Every story I've heard about his passing has made a big deal out of it.  The one person that did downplay it was Overstreet.
 
2014-01-04 07:38:11 AM

calbert: why is subby emphasizing the Eiffel tower part?


That's how you have to tell WWII stories. You probably heard about the WWII bomb that was just found in Germany. Bombs have an iron casing. THE EIFFEL TOWER IS MADE OF IRON TOO. Some German WWII military officers wore brown. THE EIFFEL TOWER WAS ONCE PAINTED BROWN BUT IS NOW BRONZISH.

C'est la vie. That's French for "SEE THE VIEW FROM THE EIFFEL TOWER!"
 
2014-01-04 07:40:01 AM
Well, where's the video??
 
2014-01-04 07:44:40 AM
So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude
 
2014-01-04 07:46:24 AM

calbert: why is subby emphasizing the Eiffel tower part?

that has been done numerous times, it's not that incredible of a feat, and in this particular instance, the German pilot did the exact same thing.

I don't get the unwarranted emphasis.


Maybe subby has only been to Paris Las Vegas and thinks that Eiffel Tower is 1:1 scale.
 
2014-01-04 07:47:10 AM
img.fark.net
 
2014-01-04 07:47:59 AM
What's worse is the little dog that jumped off the Eiffel tower trying to catch the bomb. It's OK though, he was showing to be okay paddling around in the water.
 
2014-01-04 07:49:14 AM

Hermione_Granger:


I first misread as WWI and was about to make a remark about his secretary a small bird, taking down the story.
 
2014-01-04 07:49:24 AM
It's a great story and I'll bet everyone who did the same trick and lived used the tale to collect free drinks.
 
2014-01-04 07:55:15 AM
That's nothing. Team America destroyed half of Paris to get the terrorists. Cuz that's how they role.
 
2014-01-04 07:56:30 AM
Pics or it didn't happen
 
2014-01-04 07:57:49 AM

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?


You might want to study up on the job of an escort. Had he not continued the pursuit the German could have looped around and made another pass at the bombers. He did his job correctly.
 
2014-01-04 07:57:57 AM
There really should be a Badass tag to go along with the Hero tag.
 
2014-01-04 07:59:54 AM

foo monkey: Subby should read Hemingway. Fewer words is better. Principal caught she said of.


Hemingway returned to Paris as it was being liberated, and called at the house of Pablo Picasso. His maid informed him Picasso was out. Hemingway asked to leave a message for his friend. The maid, who had been enjoying the generosity of other well-wishers, coyly asked if he would rather leave a gift. Hemingway went back to his jeep and returned with the only thing on hand - a crate of grenades he'd been using. The maid stayed away from the house until Picasso returned and disposed of the grenades.
 
2014-01-04 08:05:36 AM

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude


No, he forced the German pilot to abandon the bombers for half an hour.  And then killed him.
 
2014-01-04 08:06:09 AM
A great pilot and a modest man. An awesome aircraft. The derp in this thread is strong. How many times has any one here done anything even remotely close to this courageous and skillful. Yes the space he flew through is fairly large but I am sure that in the midst of a dogfight at near ground level there was plenty of time to line up the flythrough. Hell, he probably took a nap.
 
2014-01-04 08:06:54 AM
Note to subby:

You should save stories like this for places where adults congregate. The x-box playing war heroes of fark have mounted their steeds and flown through the eiffel tower many a time with their cheetos-stained fingers tightly grasping their "more realistic than a real fighter plane " joystick. They are not easily impressed with the wartime antics of a brave and, from all accounts, humble man like William Overstreet.

Having met many men like him in my lifetime, all I can say is we are all poorer for his passing.

RIP Mr. Overstreet.
 
2014-01-04 08:07:45 AM

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?


Yep, he was supposed to just fly straight ahead and only shoot at things that conveniently hoveredin front of his guns.
 
2014-01-04 08:10:26 AM
It smells incredibly douchey in here.
 
2014-01-04 08:11:42 AM
Must have been quite a sight.

www.warbirdsnews.com

Link

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.

"My father began shouting out me - 'I have to meet this man,'" Marie said.

Members of the French Resistance had seen his flight, and it inspired them, including Marie's father, he said.

"This guy has done even more than what people are thinking," Marie said. "He lifted the spirit of the French."
 
2014-01-04 08:12:33 AM

Frozboz: Pics or it didn't happen


oi43.tinypic.com

That's him on the right.
 
2014-01-04 08:13:59 AM
Really?  Goddammit!
 
2014-01-04 08:15:47 AM

here to help: It smells incredibly douchey in here.


It's not douche, it's Fark.com.
 
2014-01-04 08:17:05 AM

Basily Gourt: Note to subby:

You should save stories like this for places where adults congregate. The x-box playing war heroes of fark have mounted their steeds and flown through the eiffel tower many a time with their cheetos-stained fingers tightly grasping their "more realistic than a real fighter plane " joystick. They are not easily impressed with the wartime antics of a brave and, from all accounts, humble man like William Overstreet.

Having met many men like him in my lifetime, all I can say is we are all poorer for his passing.

RIP Mr. Overstreet.


You forgot to mention that guys like Overstreet were also dodging real bullets from real guns while the X-box heroes need only dodge their Mom's reprimand to get off the couch and do something useful for a change.

Other than that, your post is spot on.  Especially the fact that we are poorer for the loss of Overstreet and the thousands like him.
 
2014-01-04 08:19:11 AM

lifeboat: That's him on the right.


Photoshopped!!!
 ( no duh)

 Seriously, I never heard about it, it was nice to know such spectacular fight have happened. I gotta read more on the subject. Good Post!
 
2014-01-04 08:20:30 AM

lifeboat: Frozboz: Pics or it didn't happen

[oi43.tinypic.com image 579x462]

That's him on the right.


If that's to scale (not saying it is or it isn't) that is a much tighter squeeze than our Fark Core members are making it out to be. I guess they wouldn't be impressed unless there was only a millimeter on either side of their wings after a 30,000' dive all the while taking pot shots and doing barrel rolls/loopty loops.

Yup... someone could open up a chip stand and do quite well for themselves in this here thread.
 
2014-01-04 08:24:12 AM

Kibbler: The Mustang was one hell of a machine


 Yes it is. A good friend of mine owned one and I have some flight time in it. Last time I flew in it we escorted the Collins Foundation's B-17 to an airshow. We did "strafing runs on the bomber for fun at 15,000 feet. (My friends Mustang was a conversion where the old radio equipment was removed and a small jump sear was installed behind the pilot) When flying along side it was easy to imagine bring in an escort mission in 1944, well minus the German fighters and flak. I feel very lucky to have had an opportunity to fly in the Mustang. Through his friendship I've also got to fly in a P40, B17, B24 and B25. He also had a Stearman and a Texan, those are almost ass much fun as the Mustang, both are a lot more comfortable with each having a proper second seat and controls.

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude


 Wrong, but nice try. During the later part of the Bomber campaign against Germany the emphasis shifted from strict bomber protection to the destruction of the German Air Force. The General Staff wanted the Luftwaffe neutralized before the Normandy landings and bomber escort pilots were given free reign to pursue German fighter aircraft with specific orders to destroy as many as possible. During this time it was not unusual to have 300 to 400 fighters escorting 700 to 1000 bombers on a mission. It was typical that a small group of fighters was tasked with staying close to the bombers to fend of attacks while the majority were allowed to pursue the fighters and they were even allowed to attack targets of opportunity on the ground (ie: stafing)

  However, prior to mid 1945, there was a time that escorting fighters were under strict orders not to pursue German fighters and to stay close to our bomber formations because of the appalling loses we were suffering. There were several raids where we lost up to 65 bombers on a single mission. To understand how appalling that was, each B17 carried ten men, so that was 650 men that didn't return. 650 men there that morning, gone that afternoon.

 The change in our tactics meant doom for the Luftwaffe. We were shooting down planes faster than they could be replaced. Not to mention the loss of so many German pilots. There were very few experienced pilots left in late 1944 on the German side. They were sending up young "pilots" towards the end that had less than 10 hours of flight time. American pilots reported that some of these German pilots were so inexperienced that a few would bail out when they would position themselves on the German's tail. They didn't even have to fire a shot. Hey, a "kill" is a "kill".
 
2014-01-04 08:25:18 AM
Good hi res shot of the tower from ground level:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Eiffel_Tower_Day_ Se pt._2005_(10).jpg

Room or not - guy had balls.  Just getting into a fighter plane back then took balls.  Flying that plane under and through shiat during combat is just icing on the huge brass-balls cake.
 
2014-01-04 08:29:37 AM
My grandfather was the most popular captain in the French army during WW2 because he lived by one simple rule.

"Never run towards the gunfire."
 
2014-01-04 08:30:03 AM
It should also be noted that the instinct, reflexes and sheer balls to identify the path the German fighter was about to make and then execute the same path without turfing himself is astounding. Think about it. The German had plenty of time to think about what he was going to do so he just has to control his plane. The guy chasing him would have literally seconds to think "WTF is this asshole doing? Holy sh*t!! HE'S GOING UNDER THE TOWER! F*CK YOU, HANZ!! I'MMA COMIN' TOO!!!"

It would take you guys at least three lives to pull off that maneuver the first time. Hope you did a save game.
 
2014-01-04 08:31:31 AM

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude


Sounds like he was probably strafing the streets of Paris as well.
 
2014-01-04 08:33:12 AM

calbert: I don't get the unwarranted emphasis.


Relatedly, I'm curious if Germans or Japanese regale their citizens with tales of heroism from WWII. Or if that decade is just a black box from which only shame emits.
 
2014-01-04 08:33:44 AM

lifeboat: Good hi res shot of the tower from ground level:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Eiffel_Tower_Day_ Se pt._2005_(10).jpg

Room or not - guy had balls.  Just getting into a fighter plane back then took balls.  Flying that plane under and through shiat during combat is just icing on the huge brass-balls cake.


So that kind of confirms the scale of the paintings (using the people on the ground for perspective). They may have had 20-30 feet on either side of their wings which may seem like a lot BUT a) they just came out of a dive and b) planes be really fast, yo.
 
2014-01-04 08:35:06 AM

OBBN: Kibbler: The Mustang was one hell of a machine

 Yes it is. A good friend of mine owned one and I have some flight time in it. Last time I flew in it we escorted the Collins Foundation's B-17 to an airshow. We did "strafing runs on the bomber for fun at 15,000 feet. (My friends Mustang was a conversion where the old radio equipment was removed and a small jump sear was installed behind the pilot) When flying along side it was easy to imagine bring in an escort mission in 1944, well minus the German fighters and flak. I feel very lucky to have had an opportunity to fly in the Mustang. Through his friendship I've also got to fly in a P40, B17, B24 and B25. He also had a Stearman and a Texan, those are almost ass much fun as the Mustang, both are a lot more comfortable with each having a proper second seat and controls.

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude

 Wrong, but nice try. During the later part of the Bomber campaign against Germany the emphasis shifted from strict bomber protection to the destruction of the German Air Force. The General Staff wanted the Luftwaffe neutralized before the Normandy landings and bomber escort pilots were given free reign to pursue German fighter aircraft with specific orders to destroy as many as possible. During this time it was not unusual to have 300 to 400 fighters escorting 700 to 1000 bombers on a mission. It was typical that a small group of fighters was tasked with staying close to the bombers to fend of attacks while the majority were allowed to pursue the fighters and they were even allowed to attack targets of opportunity on the ground (ie: stafing)

  However, prior to mid 1945, there was a time that escorting fighters were under strict orders not to pursue German fighters and to stay close to our bomber formations because of the appalling loses we were suffering. There were several raids where we lost up to 65 bombers on a single mission. To understand how appalling that was, each B17 carried ten men, so that was 650 men that didn't return. 650 men there that morning, gone that afternoon.

 The change in our tactics meant doom for the Luftwaffe. We were shooting down planes faster than they could be replaced. Not to mention the loss of so many German pilots. There were very few experienced pilots left in late 1944 on the German side. They were sending up young "pilots" towards the end that had less than 10 hours of flight time. American pilots reported that some of these German pilots were so inexperienced that a few would bail out when they would position themselves on the German's tail. They didn't even have to fire a shot. Hey, a "kill" is a "kill".


So refreshing to have an educated post on here sometimes. Thanks for the history lesson, interesting stuff.
 
2014-01-04 08:35:59 AM

Gobobo: My grandfather was the most popular captain in the French army during WW2 because he lived by one simple rule.

"Never run towards the gunfire."


The French had an army in WW2?
 
2014-01-04 08:38:45 AM
www.newprophecy.net

oops
 
2014-01-04 08:39:26 AM
To put the effect this had on the French in terms Farkers can understand, it's just like when Han and Chewie showed from out of nowhere and shot Vader's wingmen, reigniting the Rebels spirits and allowing Luke to shoot his bomb down the ventilation shaft.
 
2014-01-04 08:46:22 AM

Flab: To put the effect this had on the French in terms Farkers can understand, it's just like when Han and Chewie showed from out of nowhere and shot Vader's wingmen, reigniting the Rebels spirits and allowing Luke to shoot his bomb down the ventilation shaft.


Naw, Star wars is too low brow for these SciFi hipsters. You should have went with the B5 episode where Delenn and Cpt what's his face had seemingly failed to convince the League of Non Aligned Worlds they should join the Shadow War and they were stuck out in the middle of space with a tiny fleet being destroyed when all of a sudden a bunch of jump points open up and HAZZAH!! The League had decided to join the fight after all and with renewed bonehead vigor they all whooped some space spider ass.
 
2014-01-04 08:50:06 AM

Flab: To put the effect this had on the French in terms Farkers can understand, it's just like when Han and Chewie showed from out of nowhere and shot Vader's wingmen, reigniting the Rebels spirits and allowing Luke to shoot his bomb down the ventilation shaft.


Han and Chewie fought the Germans?
 
2014-01-04 08:52:51 AM
He was a true hero. He was escorting those bombers and made the split second/ right decision on his own to go after the German fighter plane.
Today, he would have had to radio in for permission to save the mission. Wasnt there a base command close by that knew Benghazi needed help - if he had done what he wanted and sent it without going to high command, things might have been different.
 
2014-01-04 08:55:10 AM
Just don't jump off the Eiffel Tower with a bedsheet tied to you.
 
2014-01-04 09:03:50 AM

Shirley Ujest: Flab: To put the effect this had on the French in terms Farkers can understand, it's just like when Han and Chewie showed from out of nowhere and shot Vader's wingmen, reigniting the Rebels spirits and allowing Luke to shoot his bomb down the ventilation shaft.

Han and Chewie fought the Germans?


Forget it he's rolling.
 
2014-01-04 09:04:35 AM

OBBN: Kibbler: The Mustang was one hell of a machine

 Yes it is. A good friend of mine owned one and I have some flight time in it. Last time I flew in it we escorted the Collins Foundation's B-17 to an airshow. We did "strafing runs on the bomber for fun at 15,000 feet. (My friends Mustang was a conversion where the old radio equipment was removed and a small jump sear was installed behind the pilot) When flying along side it was easy to imagine bring in an escort mission in 1944, well minus the German fighters and flak. I feel very lucky to have had an opportunity to fly in the Mustang. Through his friendship I've also got to fly in a P40, B17, B24 and B25. He also had a Stearman and a Texan, those are almost ass much fun as the Mustang, both are a lot more comfortable with each having a proper second seat and controls.

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude

 Wrong, but nice try. During the later part of the Bomber campaign against Germany the emphasis shifted from strict bomber protection to the destruction of the German Air Force. The General Staff wanted the Luftwaffe neutralized before the Normandy landings and bomber escort pilots were given free reign to pursue German fighter aircraft with specific orders to destroy as many as possible. During this time it was not unusual to have 300 to 400 fighters escorting 700 to 1000 bombers on a mission. It was typical that a small group of fighters was tasked with staying close to the bombers to fend of attacks while the majority were allowed to pursue the fighters and they were even allowed to attack targets of opportunity on the ground (ie: stafing)

  However, prior to mid 1945, there was a time that escorting fighters were under strict orders not to pursue German fighters and to stay close to our bomber formations because of the appalling loses we were suffering. There were several raids where we lost ...


OBBN, was that Mustang named "Big Beautiful Doll"?  If so, I have a story about it you might enjoy.....
 
2014-01-04 09:07:54 AM

The Evil Home Brewer: So in other words he was flying bomber escort and abandoned the bombers for a half hour for personal glory?

/He was still a brave dude


The Allies used many tactics for bomber defense and by trial and error found the best ways of protecting the bomber stream. They did at one point strictly order the fighters to stay near the bombers to protect them only to find that it gave the initiative to the Germans and was not very effective. The best tactic was for the fighters to range away from the bombers and aggressively pursue or go find the Germans and engage them. Fighters would be directed toward German planes as they were forming up, or even go jump on German planes as they were taking off or landing, If the Germans were too busy defending themselves from aggressive American fighters, they couldn't attack the bombers. So what this guy did was exactly right.
 
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