Robert "Bob" Little
Robert Carter “Bob” Little, passed away peacefully on August 3, 2018 at the age of 93. Born March 12, 1925 to the late Henry Francis and Nelle Elvage Little of Kansas City, MO. Beloved husband to Betty Kreder Little for 67 years. Father to Susan Burr (Buddy) of Carbondale, CO, Martha McCoy (Mike) of Augusta, MO, James “Jim” Little (Kathy) of Costa Mesa, CA, and Elizabeth “Liz” Little of St. Louis. Grandfather of Lauren McCoy (Mike O’Bryan), of St. Louis, Emily Hoyt (Ben) of Eldorado Springs, CO, and Colton Nappier of St. Louis.
Bob graduated from Southwest High School in Kansas City, MO. During his youth he played baseball, participated in ROTC and Boy Scouts, achieving Eagle Scout. He attended Texas A & M where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His college years were interrupted by World War II and his enrollment in the Army Air Corp. He did extensive reconnaissance work and flew 68 combat missions over Europe flying P-51 Mustangs. He was awarded the DFC and the Air Medal with 13 Oak Clusters.
After completing college in 1948 he began his career at McDonnell Aircraft as a flight test engineer and test pilot. He has the distinction of being the first man to pilot four McDonnell Douglas jet fighters that went into successful production: the F3H-1 Demon (1953), the F-101A Voodoo (1954), the F-101B (1957), and the F4H-1 Phantom (1958). Little was also the first person to take a maiden flight supersonic. Little is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He was awarded the prestigious James Doolittle Award for outstanding professional accomplishment in aerospace in 1977 and The Spirit of St. Louis Award in 1989. He was inducted into The Aerospace Hall of Fame/Walk of Honor, Lancaster, CA in 2003. He retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1989 as Vice Chairman-Government Business.
Bob was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting, and working with his bird dogs Mike and Jake. He had a spirit of adventure and a love of the west. He especially enjoyed exploring the diverse landscape of Arizona where he and Betty spent many winters. Bob also had a great passion for playing golf with family and friends near and far. When at home Bob liked to putter around in the yard, take a plunge in the pool and cook out, ideally with some great jazz playing in the background.
Visitation 4-7:00pm on Friday, August 17, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd., in Kirkwood, MO. Funeral Service 11am Saturday, August 18, at Bopp Chapel. Interment Bellerive Gardens Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Greater St. Louis Boy Scouts of America, the Evans Scholarship or the American Cancer Society. The family would like to thank the staff at Two McKnight Skilled Nursing, especially Quana Jones and Lakisha Elkins, Gatesworth Personal Care and BJC Hospice with very special thanks to Dana Jones.