Upon graduation from the Royal Military College in 1952 Major-General Herbert C. Pitts, MC, CD was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). Within six weeks he had arrived in Korea and was assigned to 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a Platoon Commander. With the arrival of the 3rd Battalion, he remained with that unit and was later awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and leadership in action. He returned to Canada just before the ceasefire, having transferred to the Infantry Corps.
In 1954 General Pitts joined the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada where he remained for three years including the Suez deployment in 1956 followed by a posting to HQ, 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade and he departed for Germany shortly thereafter. In 1960 he attended the British Army Staff College in Camberley and then was posted to the Army Council Secretariat in Ottawa. In 1962 he was promoted Major and joined the 2nd Battalion, QOR in Calgary. Thereafter he was again posted to Germany as Brigade Major from 1964 to 1967.
In 1967, General Pitts was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel to command the 1st Battalion, QOR in Victoria until 1969 whereupon he was assigned as an Exchange Instructor to the United States Army Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following this posting he attended the National Defence College in Kingston until promotion to Colonel to command the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Edmonton from 1971 to 1973. He was promoted Brigadier-General in 1973 and posting to National Defence Headquarters. He remained at NDHQ for five years and as a Major-General served in various capacities until his retirement in 1978 after 30 years of dedicated service.
Following retirement he served in various capacities including Colonel of the Regiment, the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Infantry Corps and Honorary-Lieutenant Colonel of The Queen’s own Rifles of Canada. His accumulated uniformed service being 44 ½ years. He also served as National Commissioner of Scouts Canada.
After retirement he was awarded numerous honours and awards and resided in Victoria, B.C. with his wife Marianne.
He died 27 September 2018.
9 thoughts on “Pitts, Herbert C.”
Thank you for being the type of leader you are. It was a pleasure and honor to serve under your command in Victoria. I sincerely appreciate, and thank you for taking the time to personally reach out to me in a hand written card, when you heard of my sickness here at the Hull, Quebec hospital. It means a great deal to me to receive this note from you just before Nov 11, 2016. Our day!
You may remember me as Robbie, the cook and hockey player instead of Ernie Robert.
Still to this day, you are great man.
Robbie (Ernie Robert) Sgt. LDSH
Without question one of the finest gentleman and officers who I ever served with in my 32 year career. This from an airman who served 3 and a half years in the Airborne Regiment as a para rigger in Service Company. Saw General Pitts very frequently as he completed many para descents during his time as C.O. General Pitts gave me confidence that I didn’t previously possess.
Sir, it was the Greatest pleasure serving under your command.
D Coy 2 QOR
Calgary, Alberta 1962
Thank you Herb for the memories in Australia & Korea
Sir it was a pleasure to serve in your battalion at work point barracks 1966
On behalf of Gen Pitts:
“Hello and thanks for your personal comment. It was a good battalion and one command I really still treasure. Many old riflemen stay in touch and that means a lot!
Thanks and Best Wishes
A proud British Columbian Major General Pitts’ mess kit from his time as Colonel of the Regiment of PPCLI is now prominently displayed at BC Government House Museum in Victoria. The official opening of this new museum is 1500 Thursday 5 June 2014