U.S.S. Little Rock
Commanding Officer Biography

Page last updated: 15 March, 2020
Captain Charles E. Little

15 Nov 69
- 11 Jun 71

Captain C.E. Little


Charles Eugene Little was born in Lawrenceville, Illinois, on April 16, 1920, son of William A. and Julia F. ( Brewer) Little. He graduated from the Public School of Lawrenceville, and received the degree of Bachelor of Education from Illinois State University at Normal.  Appointed Midshipman in the U. S. Naval Reserve in April 1943, he attended Midshipman School at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and on August 20, 1943 was commissioned Ensign. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from August 1, 1964, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the U. S. Navy on October 28, 1946.

After receiving his commission in 1943, he attended the Naval Communication School, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In May 1944 he joined the USS SCUFFLE (AM-298) to serve as Communication Officer, Executive Officer and finally Commanding Officer. While on board that minesweeper, he participated in over twenty minesweeping operations, including the invasion at Leyte Gulf , the recapture of Corregidor and consolidation of Manila Bay ( the first vessel to enter Manila Bay as the area was recaptured), and the invasions of Brunei Bay and Balikpapan, Borneo. On board the SCUFFLE, he also took part in the post-war minesweeping in Japanese Empire waters. He is entitled to the Ribbons for and facsimiles of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded Task Unit SEVENTY-EIGHT Point TWO Point NINE and the Navy Unit Commendation awarded Task Unit SEVENTY EIGHT Point THREE Point SIX, of which the SCUFFLE was a part.

In May 1946 he assumed command of the USS RECRUIT (AM-285) and in August of that year was detached for instruction at the Naval Mine Warfare School, Yorktown, Virginia.  He became Commanding Officer of the USS OSTRICH (AMS-29) in March 1947 and during the period June to September 1948 had temporary duty as Commander Mine Squadron FOUR . Detached from command of the OSTRICH in October 1948, he next had temporary duty as Assistant Flag Secretary and Advisor on Mine Countermeasures to Commander Mine Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

From June 1949 to April 1950 he was a student at the General Line School, Newport, Rhode Island, graduating with distinction, after which he was in Command of Mine Division FORTY-TWO.  In April 1950 he reported as Gunnery Instructor with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at the University of Illinois at Urbana, and in September 1953 joined the USS HAYNSWORTH (DD-700) as Executive Officer. Detached from that destroyer in August 1955, he served as Surface Operations Officer on the Staff of Commander Striking and Support Force, Southern Europe until December 1957 , after which he attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia.

In August 1958 he joined the Staff of Commander Mine Force, U. S . Atlantic Fleet, to serve as Operations Officer and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and in December 1960 assumed command of the USS DYESS ( DDR-880 ), which participated in operations in the Cuban area. He was Executive Officer of the USS ST. PAUL (CA-7O) from April 1963 until April 1965, then had duty as Prospective Commanding Officer of the USS OZARK ( MCS-2 ) . Upon the recommissioning of that mine countermeasures support ship on June 24, 1966 he became Commanding Officer.

During the period August 1967 to August 1968 he had instruction at the Canadian National Defense College, Kingston, Ontario. Assigned next to the Office of the Inspector General, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C , he served as Assistant for Surface Operations, Readiness and Training until July 1969, then as Director of the Inspections Division.  In November 1969 he he assumed command of the USS Little Rock CLG 4.

In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Captain Little has the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with silver star (five operations) , World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with star . He also has the Korean Presidential Unit Citation Badge.

Captain Little is married to the former Lily B. Boumans of Broussard, LA and they have three sons, Charles E. Little, Jr., Michael E. Little and Ronald J. Little.

Captain Little 's hobby is bowling.

From: Navy Office of Information
Internal Relations Division (OI-43O)
8 January 1970

Note: A special "Thanks"  to Mr. Jay Wolf,  nephew of Captain Little,  for the portrait photo. (Ed. 24 Jan 2012)

DATE OF BIRTH: Apr. 16, 1920
DATE OF DEATH: May 30, 1992

DATE OF BIRTH: Nov. 6, 1918
DATE OF DEATH: Nov. 8, 2004

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