|By Carmelo Turdo|
Left - Bob Little with first F4H-1 Phantom II (Boeing photo) and Right - Bob Little today
Bob Little's aviation career began when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and later flew 68 combat missions over Germany in a reconnaissance version of the P-51 Mustang. Following the war and the attainment of his Bachelor's Degree from Texas A&M, he went to work for McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in 1948. He was a Flight Test Engineer, Experimental Test Pilot and Chief Test Pilot for the Banshee, Demon, Voodoo and Phantom II before rising to the executive ranks. He is also a recipient of the James H. Doolittle Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
|Bob Little with Last F-4 Coin|
The Missouri Aviation Historical Society (MAHS) has hosted Bob Little on several occasions, and has assisted in the production of media projects that have highlighted his role in the development of military jet technology. In 2014, MAHS hosted a program celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the first flight of the McDonnell F-101A Voodoo with Little and other McDonnell Aircraft test pilots in attendance. In 2016, MAHS teamed up with HEC-TV to produce a special video program, Legendary WWII and Test Pilot, Bob Little. This HEC-TV special included footage from an historic event that occurred in May 2016 when Bob Little, the first F-4 Phantom II pilot, met USAF Lt. Col. Ron "Elvis" King, the last F-4 Phantom II pilot. The F-4 Phantom II, or QF-4E flown by Colonel King's 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, was retired in December of 2016 following a number of airshow appearances. A commemorative coin, featuring both Bob Little and Colonel King, has become a popular keepsake and one was given to Bob Little during Saturday's event.
Joe Steimann and Bob Little
(Joe Steimann photo)
The Aero Experience was proud to support this event, and thank the Missouri Aviation Historical Society, Bob Little and his family and Creve Coeur Airport for making it possible.