Retired Navy Capt. Ray Maurer Pitts, 66, former vice president of Ocean Systems, Inc., in Arlington, died on brain cancer Feb. 2 at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, Calif.
Assigned to the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of his retirement from the Navy in 1960, he later joined Ocean Systems, retiring for a second time in 1969.
In 1966, Capt. Pitts had supervised the recovery of one of the American hydrogen bombs dropped accidentally into the Mediterranean off Spain after an air collision.
In 1970, he moved from Arlington to Laguna Hills, Calif.
Born in Mexico of American parents, Capt. Pitts grew up in Texas. He was a graduate of Texas Technological College and the Naval Academy at Annapolis (1932). He also studied at the University of Mexico and University of California, and held a law degree.
During World War II, he commanded destroyers in the Pacific and was a destroyer squadron commander in the Atlantic.
Capt. Pitts was operations officer with the 7th Fleet in Korean waters during the conflict there. In the late 1950s, he was assistant director of the undersea warfare division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations here.
His many decorations included the Navy Cross and the Legion of Merit.
He is survived by his wife, Dianne, of the home, a son, Randolph, and a daughter, Deborah.