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Name: Robert Alexander "Bob" Little
Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and Bar
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and Bar
Croix de Guerre [France]
Robert Little
Country: Australia
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Units: 3N, 8N; 1W (RNAS)
203 (RAF)
Victories: 47
Born: 19 July 1895
Place of Birth: Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Killed In Action: 27 May 1918 Killed In Action
Place of Death: Near Noeux, France
Cemetery: Wavans British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France Image
 
 
Soon after he arrived in London aboard the Malwa on 7 September 1915, Robert Alexander Little, Australia's highest scoring ace, joined the Royal Naval Air Service. He received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1958 on an L. & P. biplane at London & Provincial School, Hendon on 27 October 1915. Posted to Dunkirk in late June 1916, he flew the Bristol Scout and the Sopwith 1½ Strutter and participated in several bombing missions before joining 8 Naval Squadron after its arrival in France on 26 October 1916. Scoring his first four victories flying the Sopwith Pup, his squadron was re-equipped with Sopwith Triplanes in the spring of 1917. With this aircraft, Little scored 24 victories before his Triplane was replaced with a Sopwith Camel. By March 1918, Little joined Raymond Collishaw's 3 Naval Squadron (later 203 Squadron) as a flight commander. On 21 April 1918, he was shot down by Friedrich Ehmann but managed to land safely behind British lines. The following month, he was shot down and killed in combat with a Gotha bomber on a night raid.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flight Sub-Lieut. Robert Alexander Little, R.N.A.S.
   For conspicuous bravery in successfully attacking and bringing down hostile machines on several occasions. On 11th November, 1916, he attacked and brought down a hostile machine in flames. On 12th December, 1916, he attacked a German machine at a range of 50 yards; this machine was brought down in a nose-dive. On 20th December, 1916, he dived at a hostile machine, and opened fire at 25 yards range; the observer was seen to fall down inside the machine, which went down in a spinning nose-dive. On 1st January, 1917, he attacked an enemy scout, which turned over on its back and came down completely out of control.
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Bar
Flt.-Lieut. Robert Alexander Little, D.S.C., R.N.A.S.
   For exceptional daring and skill in aerial fighting on many occasions, of which the following are examples:—
    On the 28th April, 1917, he destroyed an Aviatik; on the 29th April he shot down a hostile scout, which crashed. On the 30th April, with three other machines he went up after hostile machines and saw a big fight going on between fighter escorts and hostile aircraft. Flt.-Lieut. Little attacked one at fifty yards range, and brought it down out of control. A few minutes later he attacked a red scout with a larger machine than the rest. This machine was handled with great skill, but by clever manoeuvring Flt. Lieut. Little got into a good position and shot it down out of control.
 
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
For gallantry in action and for exceptional skill and daring in aerial combats. Since the 9th May, 1917, besides having driven off numerous artillery aeroplanes and damaged six hostile machines, he has destroyed six others. On the 26th June, 1917, an Aviatik being seen from the aerodrome he went up to attack it. He engaged it and fired a burst at close range, and the enemy machine stalled and went down in flames.
 
 
Distinguished Service Order (DSO) Bar
Flt. Lieut. (Act. Flt. Cdr.) Robert Alexander Little, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.A.S.
   For exceptional gallantry and skill in aerial fighting.
   On 16th July, 1917, he observed two Aviatiks flying low over the lines. He dived on the nearest one, firing a long, burst at very close range. The enemy machine dived straight away, and Flt. Lieut. Little followed him closely down to 500 ft., the enemy machine falling out of control.
   On 20th July, 1917, he attacked a D.F.W. After a short fight, the enemy machine dived vertically. Its tail plane seemed to crumple up, and it was completely wrecked.
   On 22nd July, 1917, he attacked a D.F.W. Aviatik, and brought it down completely out of control.
   On 27th July, 1917, in company with another pilot, he attacked an Aviatik. After each had fired about twenty rounds, the enemy machine began to spin downwards. Flt. Lieut. Little got close to it, and observed both the occupants lying back in the cock-pits, as if dead. The machine fell behind the enemy's lines, and was wrecked.
   Flt. Lieut. Little has shown remarkable courage and boldness in attacking enemy machines.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 23 Nov 1916 0950 8N Sopwith Pup (N5182) C (DESF) NE of La Bassée
2 04 Dec 1916 1130 8N Sopwith Pup (N5182) Halberstadt D.II (OOC) NE of Bapaume
3 20 Dec 1916 1115 8N Sopwith Pup (N5182) C (OOC) Fontaine
4 07 Jan 1917 1100 8N Sopwith Pup (N5194) Albatros D.II (OOC) Grevillers
5 07 Apr 1917 1930 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5469) Albatros D.III (DES) SE of Lens
6 09 Apr 1917 1200 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5469) Halberstadt D.II (OOC) Noyelles-Lens
7 21 Apr 1917 1855 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5469) Albatros D.III (DES) NE of Oppy
8 24 Apr 1917 1230 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5469) Aviatik C (CAP) Auchel
9 28 Apr 1917 1225 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) C (DES) Oppy
10 29 Apr 1917 1915 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (DES) 1 Douai
11 30 Apr 1917 0710 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) E of Arras
12 30 Apr 1917 0725 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) E of Arras
13 02 May 1917 1930 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) Vitry
14 09 May 1917 1010 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) LVG C (OOC) SE of Lens
15 09 May 1917 1015 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) SE of Lens
16 10 May 1917 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) Lens
17 18 May 1917 1100 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) DFW C (DES) NE of Lens
18 18 May 1917 1115 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (DES) NE of Lens
19 23 May 1917 1545 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) 2 W of Douai
20 25 May 1917 0810 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.III (OOC) Quiery la Motte
21 16 Jun 1917 0930 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) C (DES) Wingles
22 21 Jun 1917 1025 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.V (DES) E of Henin-Lietard
23 26 Jun 1917 1835 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) C (DESF) E of Acheville
24 29 Jun 1917 0655 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Lens
25 03 Jul 1917 1100 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.V (OOC) Lens
26 03 Jul 1917 1130 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.V (OOC) Lens-La Bassée
27 06 Jul 1917 1115 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) C (DES) N of Izel
28 10 Jul 1917 1445 8N Sopwith Triplane (N5493) Albatros D.V (OOC) Fampoux
29 12 Jul 1917 1300 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) Albatros D.V (OOC) Vitry-Drocourt-Quéant
30 13 Jul 1917 1015 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) C (OOC) Lens
31 13 Jul 1917 1130 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) Albatros D.V (CAP) Croiselles
32 15 Jul 1917 2045 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) Albatros D.V (OOC) Lens
33 16 Jul 1917 0830 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) C (OOC) Gavrelle
34 20 Jul 1917 1840 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) DFW C.V (DES) Lens
35 21 Jul 1917 1930 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Oppy
36 22 Jul 1917 0620 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) C (OOC) Rouvroy
37 22 Jul 1917 1945 8N Sopwith Camel (N6378) Albatros D.V (OOC) Lens
38 27 Jul 1917 1600 8N Sopwith Camel (B3877) C (DES) Loos
39 01 Apr 1918 1400 203 Sopwith Camel (B7198) Fokker DR.I (DES) E of Oppy
40 06 Apr 1918 1230 203 Sopwith Camel (B7231) DFW C.V (DESF) NE of Lens
41 07 Apr 1918 1300 203 Sopwith Camel (B7231) Fokker DR.I (DES) SE of Violanes
42 09 Apr 1918 1610 203 Sopwith Camel (B7231) Albatros C (DESF) Givenchy
43 11 Apr 1918 1430 203 Sopwith Camel (B7231) Albatros D.V (DES) Bac St. Maur
44 21 Apr 1918 1500 203 Sopwith Camel (B6319) Pfalz D.III (OOC) W of Bailleul
45 18 May 1918 0750 203 Sopwith Camel (B7220) Pfalz D.III (OOC) 3 Neuf Berquin
46 22 May 1918 1140 203 Sopwith Camel (D3416) Albatros C (DES) Mory-St. Leger
47 22 May 1918 1145 203 Sopwith Camel (D3416) DFW C (DES) Morchies

1 Shared with Richard Minifie
2 Shared with Charles Booker
3 Shared with Edwin Hayne
 
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