Retired Nov. 1, 1969. Died Feb. 22, 1995.
Brigadier General James Walter Little is deputy chief of staff for materiel, Air Training Command, Randolph Air Forte Base, Texas. He is responsible for maintenance engineering, transportation, supply and services, and procurement and logistics plans programs for the command.
General Little was born in 1920 at Beattyville, Ky. After graduating from high school at Beattyville in 1937, he entered the University of Kentucky and completed four years undergraduate work in engineering. His military career began in April 1941 when he was accepted for training as an aviation cadet with the Army Air Corps. He received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in December 1941 and was assigned as A fighter pilot with the 56th Fighter Group at Charleston, S.C. He moved with the group to Mitchel Field, N.Y. a short time later and went overseas in 1942.
He saw his first action in World War II as a member of the Allied Forces Desert Air Task Force in Egypt where he flew aerial support missions in operations against General Erwin Rommel's forces in the Western Desert. Following Rommel's defeat in November 1942, he joined the 23d Fighter Group operating in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. Returning to the United States in October 1943, he was assigned as a test pilot at the Air Proving Ground, Eglin Field, Fla. He remained in that position until August 1946 when he was assigned as an adviser to the Washington Air National Guard at Spokane, Wash.
In December 1949 General Little joined the 35th Fighter Group in Japan, and was later transferred to the 8th Fighter Group as commander of the 339th Fighter Squadron, where he served until February 1951 when he was named Director of Air Defense for the Far East Air Force Headquarters at Tokyo, Japan. He returned to the United States in January 1952 and attended the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., before being assigned as an instructor, with the Naval War College, Providence, R.I., in June 1952. He remained at the Naval War College until April 1954 when he was assigned to the Weapons System Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
General Little became director of operations for Headquarters 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Ramstein, Germany, in February 1957. While with the 86th, he led the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Rocketry team that won second place in the worldwide rocket meet at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in 1958. He remained with the 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing until March 1960 when he returned to the United States and was named director of advanced flying training in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Flying Training, Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. In January 1963 his position was changed to director of pilot training, and in June of the same year he was appointed commander of the 3575th Pilot Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. He assumed duties as deputy chief of staff, materiel, ATC in June 1966.
His military decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is a command pilot.