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Service:Royal Air Force
Rank:Flight Commander
Date of Birth:19 July 1895
Place of Birth:Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Date of Death:27 May 1918 (Aged 22 years)
Decorations:Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar
Distinguished Service Cross and Bar
Mentioned in Despatches
Croix de Guerre (France)
Units:No. 203 Squadron, RAF †

AWM: A05200

Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Distinguished Service Cross & BarBritish War MedalMentioned in Despatches (WWI)Croix de Guerre (France)


Distinguished Service Order:
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.

Bar to the Distinguished Service Order:
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, 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. has shown remarkable courage and boldness in attacking enemy machines.

Distinguished Service Cross:
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.

Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross:
For exceptional daring and skill in aerial fighting on many occasions, of which the following are examples:-
On the 28th April, 1917, he destroyed a 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.
(The award of the Distinguished Service Cross was announced in the London Gazette of 16th February, 1917.)

Burial Details

Grave:D. 7.

External Links

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll
The London Gazette - Distinguished Service Order Citation (10 August 1917)
The London Gazette - Bar to Distinguished Service Order Citation (14 September 1917)
The London Gazette - Distinguished Service Cross Citation (16 February 1917)
The London Gazette - Bar to Distinguished Service Cross Citation (22 June 1917)


Little, J.C. 1986 Little, Robert Alexander (18951918). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 27 May 2018 from <http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/little-robert-alexander-7207>.

Record updated on 27 May 2018.


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