Dan Pitzer was born on November 23, 1930, in Fairview, West Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 10, 1947, leaving active duty on June 22, 1949, and then returned to active duty from November 6, 1949 to September 10, 1950. He was again recalled to active duty on August 22, 1951, and served with the 2nd Medium Tank Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan and South Korea until November 1960, followed by service with the 319th Artillery Regiment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from January to June 1961. Sgt Pitzer next completed Special Forces training, and then served with the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from December 1961 to August 1963, and then deployed to South Vietnam from August 1963 until he was captured by Viet Cong forces and taken as a Prisoner of War on October 29, 1963. After spending 1,475 days in captivity in South Vietnam and Cambodia, MSG Pitzer was released on November 11, 1967. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Fort Bragg, and then served with the 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from June 1968 to March 1971. His final assignment was with the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from March 1971 until his retirement from the Army on June 19, 1975. Dan Pitzer died on March 9, 1995.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For distinguishing himself by outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam during the period August 1963 to November 1967. Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever changing situations inherent in a couterinsurgency operation and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the Communist threat to its freedom. His initiative, zeal, sound judgement and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit on him and on the military service.