Who's Who - Robert Little

Robert Little Robert Alexander Little (1895-1918) was Australia's highest-scoring fighter pilot during World War One, with 47 confirmed victories.

Born on 19 July 1895 in Melbourne, Little joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 having sailed from Australia to England and qualified as a pilot at his own expense.  The following year, in June 1916, he was posted to Dunkirk, where (flying the Bristol Scout and the Sopwith 1 Strutter) he participated in numerous bombing raids prior to joining the 8th Naval Squadron four months later, serving on the Western Front.

Over the course of the next 19 months Little amassed a total of 47 aerial victories, becoming Australia's most prominent air ace.  All his victories were achieved in command of Sopwiths: 4 with the Pup, 24 with the Triplane; and 19 with the Sopwith Camel.  During the course of this period Little gained renown for being shot down - and then strafed - by Richthofen's Flying Circus.

His run of success came to an end however on the night of 27 May 1918 when he was shot down and killed while attempting to destroy a Gotha bomber near Noeux.

A "gutzer" was slang for a stroke of bad luck.

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