Wing Commander Edwin John Little DFC 3 x M in D

14 Wing Commander Littlea

Wing Commander Edwin John Little DFC

Name :                                 Edwin John Little  (Jack) or (Sam)

Service Number :                37572 RAF

Awards :                              D.F.C     24.10.1941

M in D   01.01.1942

M in D   11.06.1942

M in D   01.01.1943

Born 28th September 1914, Elstree, Herts. Educated Watford Grammar School. Occupation pre RAF, clerk with estate agents 1931-1932. Laboratory Assistant, Watford Grammar School 1932-1935. Very keen sportsman, Rugby, cricket, swimming and tennis. Played county level.  Award 2nd class Navigators Licence.

Citation :                             Not Found


Acting Pilot Officer                          25.02.1936

Pilot Officer                                     25.11.1936

Flying Officer                                  25.06.1938

Flight Lieutenant                             25.06.1940

Squadron Leader (W)                     20.10.1942

Acting Wing Commander               01.07.1943

 Known Postings

No.101 Squadron                            August  1936

No.40 Squadron                              September 9th 1940

No.22 O.T.U                                    April 26th 1941

No.11. O.T.U                                   No dates found

No.1657 CU Unit                             Unconfirmed

No.623 Squadron                            August 18th 1943


No.101 Squadron, No.2 Group. Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV.

Date Aircraft  Serial Target Op Times Notes
04.07.1940 Blenheim L8870 Oslebshausen Daylight 1502hrs – Returned Early
22.07.1940 Blenheim N6141 Airfield, Bolougne Daylight 1307hrs-1500hrs Returned Early, lack   of cloud
01.08.1940 Blenheim L9421 Schipol aerodrome Daylight 0930hrs-1220hrs Duty Carried Out
17.08.1940 Blenheim L9421 Hingine Night 2205hrs-0105hrs Duty Carried Out
19.08.1940 Blenheim L9421 Evere Night 2043hrs-2335hrs Duty Carried Out
30.08.1940 Blenheim L9421 St Malo Night 0037hrs-0533hrs Duty Carried Out


No.40 Squadron, No.2 Group & No.3 Group. Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV and Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic

Date Aircraft  Serial / Code Target Op Times Notes
05.09.1940 Blenheim “D” Boulogne Night 1955hrs-2343hr Duty Carried Out
08.09.1940 Blenheim “O” Ostende Night 2030hrs-2320hrs Duty Carried Out
18.09.1940 Blenheim “O” Ostende Night 2035hrs-2310hrs Duty Carried Out
24.09.1940 Blenheim “O” Calais Docks Night 0335hrs-0605hrs Duty Carried Out
29.09.1940 Blenheim “O” Calais Docks Night 0334hrs-0640hrs Duty Carried Out
30.09.1940 Blenheim “O” Ostende Night 1855hrs-2136hrs Duty Carried Out
02.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Antwerp Night 1910hrs-2211hrs Duty Carried Out
08.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Boulogne Night 1900hrs-2310hrs Duty Carried Out
12.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Amsterdam Night 1840hrs-2103hrs Duty Carried Out
15.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Dusseldorf Night 1900hrs2233hrs Duty Carried Out
20.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Calais Docks Night 1805hrs-2040hrs Duty Carried Out
24.10.1940 Blenheim “C” Krefeld Night 0230hrs-0620hrs Abandoned, attacked   Rotterdam
27.10.1940 Blenheim “O” Antwerp Night 0330hrs-0615hrs Duty Carried Out
28.10.1940 Wellington “O” Ostrum Night 1830hrs-2244hrs Duty Carried Out
21.12.1940 Wellington R1007 Antwerp Night 0415hrs-0750hrs Duty Carried Out
01.01.1941 Wellington R1337 Bremen Night 1645hrs-2130hrs Abandoned, engine u/s   bombed Amsterdam
16.01.1941 Wellington R1331 BL-R Wilhemshaven Night 1740hrs-1950hrs Abandoned, engine u/s
22.01.1941 Wellington R1030 Dusseldorf Night 1735hrs-2130hrs Target not reached,   bombed flak position.
10.02.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Hannover Night 1845hrs-0009hrs Duty Carried Out
15.02.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Sterkrade Holten Night 1810hrs-2312hrs Duty Carried Out
01.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Wilhemshaven Night 0025hrs-0611hrs Duty Carried Out
03.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Cologne Night 1910hrs-0040hrs Duty Carried Out
12.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K BERLIN Night 2005hrs-0425hrs Duty Carried Out
17.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Bremen Night 0105hrs-0740hrs Duty Carried Out
19.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Cologne Night 1855hrs-0020hrs Duty Carried Out
23.03.1941 Wellington R1330 BL-N BERLIN Night 1930hrs-0400hrs Duty Carried Out
27.03.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Cologne Night 1930hrs-0050hrs Duty Carried Out
08.04.1941 Wellington R1167 BL-N Kiel Night 2000hrs-0205hrs Duty Carried Out
10.04.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Merignac Aerodrome Night 2050hrs-0355hrs Duty Carried Out
15.04.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K Kiel Night 2220hrs-0500hrs Duty Carried Out
17.04.1941 Wellington R1030 BL-K BERLIN Night 2035hrs-0405hrs Duty Carried Out

While operational with No.40 Squadron operated with “B” Flight as flight commander and was known throughout the squadron as “Sam”.  He was at the time also known to have been a very religious person insisting that the officers all lunch together and on saying grace at the outset.

While on a training flight on October 30th 1940, Squadron Leader Little intercepted a JU88 near Ely. The Wyton Station ORB records the following  “The enemy aircraft was engaged with both the front and rear guns, and was seen to be hit in the port wing and fuselage. Black smoke was coming from one of the engines, but the enemy was lost to sight in the mist”.

The only JU88A-1  lost that day was from 8.(K)/LG1  coded L1+GS) flown by a Uffz Arndt,  however Blue Section of No.1 Squadron (Hawker Hurricanes) claimed the JU88 at 1450hrs crashing near Middle Fen, Shuntly near Ely. It is possible that after losing the JU88 in the mist the damaged JU88 was finished off by No.1 Squadron.

While attached to No.40 Squadron completed 31 sorties, added to the 6 flown with No.101 Squadron this brings Squadron Leader Little’s first tour total to 37 operations.

Post to No.22 O.T.U Wellesbourne-Mountford for instructional Duties.


No.40 (B) Squadron Operational Records Book

Assumed duties as chief ground instructor (CGI) 26th September 1941. I have not managed to establish if Wing Commander Little DFC carried out any operations while he served at No.22 or No.11 O.T.U. It is highly likely  that he did operate during the three 1000 bomber raids in 1942, however this is conjecture at this time. Wing Commander Little became well known during his time as CFI not only to those on the O.T.U but the local community, he was remembered as a  considerate and prayerful officer.   During his time at No.22 O.T.U he preached at the local Methodist Chapel.

Posted to command No.623 Squadron, RAF Downham Market, Norfolk. Short Stirling Mk.III.

While commanding No.623 Squadron it was Wing Commander Little’s choice to operate with all the recently posted crews. This went a long way to instil confidence in the inexperienced crews.  Flying Officer Peter Paddon recalls his former commanding officers “  It was his intention to fly with each of the new crews, I seem to recall that he sang “Onward Christian soldiers” while on the bomb run.”

Harry Baker also remembers Wing Commander Little. Harry was the bomb aimer on Flying Officer John Overton’s crew, it was John Overton that took the C/O to Berlin on August 23rd 1943.  I do remember the hairy trip to Berlin on the 23rd,  the C/O flew with us. As far as I can remember he was a very nice guy, isn’t it ironic that such faith and dedication to God failed to save him from getting the chop a week later, while the rest of us bad sods survived!

Little ORB

No.623 Squadron Operational Records Book records the loss of the squadrons commander, Wing Commander E J Little DFC and the recently posted crew of Flight Sergeant Tanner RAAF and crew

2nd Tour : Operations : No.623 Squadron

Date Aircraft  Serial Target Op Times Notes
23.08.1943 Stirling BK727 IC-A BERLIN Night 20.49hrs-0415hrs 2nd Pilot. Attacked by Me110
25.08.1943 Stirling EH885 IC-G Deodors (M) Night 2002hrs-0157hrs Duty Carried Out
27.08.1943 Stirling EH885 IC-G Nuremburg Night 2125hrs-0426hrs Duty Carried Out
31.08.1943 Stirling EE949 IC- BERLIN Night 2029hrs-FTR Failed to Return