George Little


George Little – U.S.S. Little DD 803’s Namesake

The U.S.S. Little (or Little’s for that matter as there were two of them) were named after Captain George Little who was acclaimed to have been an extraordinary officer in the U.S. Navy. To recognize his contributions during his Naval Service the United States Navy named two ships after him. Ironically, both were sunk by the Japanese in World War II.

The first Little was commissioned as DD 79 on April 6, 1918. She served in the Naval service until 1922 when she was decommissioned. On August 2, 1940 the Little was brought back into service as the APD-4 and was subsequently sunk by Japanese ships on September 5, 1942 at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal.

Little number two was commissioned on August 19, 1944 as the DD 803 and was sunk by Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft off the coast of Okinawa on May 3, 1945 at 26 d. 24’N., 126 d. 15’E.

Biographical Sketch of Captain George Little

Born: April 10, 1754 – Marshfield, Mass.

Died: July 22, 1809 – Weymouth, Mass.

George Little was appointed First lieutenant of the Massachusetts ship Protector in 1779, and was aboard in 1781 when she fought a running battle with the British ship Thames. In a later engagement he was captured, imprisoned, but later escaped. He was given command of the Massachusetts ship Winthrop which captured two British privateers, armed brig Meriam, and a number of other vessels. Commissioned captain, USN, 4 march 1799, Little was given command of frigate Boston. He culminated a brilliant fighting career during the quasi-war with France by capturing Le Berceau and seven other ships.

Transcribed on 04/10/1999 by Larry Papenfuss