Wel­come To
The Royal Cana­dian Regiment

Major-​General Dan Gor­don Loomis, MC OMM CD (Ret’d) Passes

Fel­low Royals

LoomisMGenD 400A Reg­i­men­tal icon, who can also be fairly described as a Reg­i­men­tal giant, has recently died. Major-​General Dan Gor­don Loomis, MC, OMM, CD (Ret’d) passed away in hos­pi­tal at Ottawa last Thurs­day, 05 Decem­ber 2013. He was 84 years of age. Mrs. Lorna Loomis, wife of Major-​General Loomis, has con­firmed that there will be no pub­lic funeral and inter­ment. As a pla­toon com­man­der with 1st Bat­tal­ion The Royal Cana­dian Reg­i­ment (1 RCR) in Korea, 19521953, Major-​General Loomis was dec­o­rated for gal­lantry in action and was awarded the Mil­i­tary Cross (MC). Later he rose to become Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of 1 RCR, 19691971. From this time he emerged as a key senior Reg­i­men­tal leader and was one of the prin­ci­pal archi­tects of the mod­ern orga­ni­za­tion of The Royal Cana­dian Regiment.

Dan Gor­don Loomis was born at Mon­treal, Que­bec in 1929 and even­tu­ally attended Lower Canada Col­lege in Mon­treal. His first expe­ri­ence of sol­dier­ing occurred in 1944 dur­ing the Sec­ond World War he enlisted in the Cameron High­landers of Ottawa as a 15 year old Boy Sol­dier. Major-​General Loomis attended Royal Roads Mil­i­tary Col­lege (RRMC) in Vic­to­ria, BC from 19481950 and Royal Mil­i­tary Col­lege (RMC) at Kingston, Ontario from 19501952. He grad­u­ated from RMC in 1952 as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1952 Major-​General Loomis com­mis­sioned as an offi­cer into 1 RCR. He sub­se­quently served as a pla­toon com­man­der in “C” Com­pany, 1 RCR in Korea from April 1952 — March 1953. On the night of 27 Sep­tem­ber 1952 Lieu­tenant Loomis led a patrol of “C” Com­pany men against Chi­nese posi­tions on Hill 227, a pow­er­ful enemy bas­tion. Dur­ing the patrol con­tact was made with the enemy. In the short but sav­age engage­ment that ensued grenades and small arms fire were exchanged at short range. Lieu­tenant Loomis and three of his men were wounded. Dan Loomis received severe shrap­nel wounds to his legs and hips (debil­i­tat­ing injuries from which he suf­fered for the rest of his life). Nev­er­the­less, under the lead­er­ship of Lieu­tenant Loomis the “C” Com­pany patrol car­ried the fight to the enemy, elim­i­nat­ing a Chi­nese machine-​gun while killing its crew. For his gal­lantry and lead­er­ship in this action Loomis was sub­se­quently awarded the Mil­i­tary Cross. He was one of only 33 Cana­dian offi­cers to received the MC dur­ing the Korean War.

Fol­low­ing his return to Canada from Korea, Dan Loomis attended Queen’s Uni­ver­sity in Kingston, grad­u­at­ing in 1954 with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BSc) in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing. Dur­ing 19541955 he returned to Reg­i­men­tal ser­vice with 1 RCR, first at Wolse­ley Bar­racks in Lon­don, Ontario, then at Fort York, Soest, West Ger­many. Remain­ing in Ger­many Lieu­tenant Loomis was employed as a staff offi­cer at the Cana­dian Brigade Head­quar­ters dur­ing 19551956. Pro­moted to Cap­tain in 1956, he attended the Royal Mil­i­tary Col­lege of Sci­ence in Eng­land from 19561958. Cap­tain Loomis was to even­tu­ally grad­u­ate at the top of his class receiv­ing a fur­ther sci­ence degree. Not sur­pris­ingly with his back­ground in sci­ence, Cap­tain Loomis next served as a Tech­ni­cal Staff Offi­cer at the Joint Nuclear, Bio­log­i­cal, Chem­i­cal War­fare School at at Camp Bor­den, Ontario dur­ing 19581959. From 19591961 he attended the Cana­dian Army Staff Col­lege in Kingston. Pro­moted to the rank of Major, Dan Loomis com­manded a rifle com­pany in 1 RCR from 19611962, first at Camp Ipper­wash, Ontario, then at Fort York in Soest, West Ger­many. From 19621964 Major Loomis was employed as an Oper­a­tions Staff Offi­cer at British 1st Corps Head­quar­ters (British Army of the Rhine). Return­ing to Canada in 1964 he was then a staff offi­cer at Mobile Com­mand (Army) Head­quar­ters. Pro­moted to Lieutenant-​Colonel, Dan Loomis attended Queen’s Uni­ver­sity, 19671969, grad­u­at­ing with an M.A.

Lieutenant-​Colonel D.G. Loomis would now com­mand 1st Bat­tal­ion The Royal Cana­dian Reg­i­ment from 15 Jan­u­ary 196921 Feb­ru­ary 1971. Con­cur­rently he would serve as Home Sta­tion Com­man­der. Dur­ing his tenure of com­mand 1 RCR mounted two sig­nif­i­cant oper­a­tions. The first was Oper­a­tion SNOW­GOOSE 13, a Bat­tal­ion deploy­ment to Cyprus on UN peace­keep­ing duties from March-​October 1970. Return­ing from Cyprus, 1 RCR was flung almost imme­di­ately into the FLQ Cri­sis (also referred to as the Octo­ber Cri­sis), par­tic­i­pat­ing in Oper­a­tion GIN­GER, an inter­nal secu­rity oper­a­tion designed to appre­hend a poten­tial insur­rec­tion insti­gated by FLQ ter­ror­ists in the province of Que­bec. In addi­tion to com­mand­ing 1 RCR at this time, Lieutenant-​Colonel Loomis was also acted as the Chief of Staff of the West­ern Que­bec Sec­tor dur­ing the FLQ Cri­sis. Dan Loomis would even­tu­ally write an account of the Cana­dian army’s role in the FLQ Cri­sis, “Not Much Glory: Quelling the FLQ,” pub­lished in 1984.

Fol­low­ing the period dur­ing which he com­manded 1 RCR, D.G. Loomis was employed at NDHQ in a staff capac­ity from Sep­tem­ber 1971 — Novem­ber 1972. Imme­di­ately fol­low­ing this he served as Deputy Com­man­der and Chief of Staff of the Cana­dian Con­tin­gent, serv­ing at Saigon in Viet­nam as inter­na­tional mil­i­tary observers and mon­i­tors dur­ing the cli­mac­tic phase if the Viet­nam con­flict, 19721973. Dan Loomis then served as a Spe­cial Pol­icy Advi­sor at NDHQ from 19731974. Even­tu­ally attain­ing the rank of Major-​General, he would sub­se­quently hold a myr­iad of impor­tant posts, includ­ing: Chief of Staff Mobile Com­mand HQ; Com­man­der C.A.S.T. Com­bat Group and CFB Petawawa; and NDHQ Chief of Pro­gramme. Fol­low­ing retire­ment Major-​General Loomis served as a senior-​level man­age­ment con­sul­tant and advi­sor to, among oth­ers, the Trea­sury Board, the Depart­ment of Exter­nal Affairs, and var­i­ous pri­vate sec­tor enti­ties. Major-​General D.G. Loomis is most cer­tainly one of our most impor­tant Reg­i­men­tal lead­ers. His impor­tance to our Reg­i­men­tal devel­op­ment in the mod­ern era is absolutely fundamental.

I have attached a photo of Major-​General Loomis and his highly illu­mi­nat­ing arti­cle, “The Reg­i­men­tal Sys­tem.” I urge you to read below the chain of mov­ing trib­utes to Major-​General Loomis sub­mit­ted by men who knew him well or at least were imme­di­ately and directly affected and influ­enced by his actions and his words. I would like to thank the Colonel of the Reg­i­ment, Colonel W.J. Aitchi­son; Bob Hersey; Don Jazey; Les Peate; Alen Clarke; and Major-​General Ivan Fen­ton for their mov­ing and insight­ful thoughts about Major-​General Loomis.

Pro Patria

Ross Apple­ton
Cap­tain
Reg­i­men­tal Adjutant

The Reg­i­men­tal Sys­tem - Pro­duced in 1974 by BGen DG Loomis MC OMM CD, COS Ops FMC HQ

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I have known for over 30 years how highly you thought of Dan and have wit­nessed his rec­i­p­ro­cal respect and affec­tion for you. No war­rior could ask for more than what you have said about Dan. He was, in my view, one of the finest, most prin­ci­pled and bright­est offi­cers of his gen­er­a­tion and his lat­ter strug­gles with Alzheimer’s and demen­tia were tragedy of the high­est order. It is a great pity that vir­tu­ally no currently-​serving offi­cers had the oppor­tu­nity to observe him and ben­e­fit from his ster­ling character.

Pro Patria
Joe

Colonel of the Reg­i­ment, Colonel W.J. Aitchison

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MGen Dan Loomis:

He com­manded D Coy 1RCR at Fort York, Ger­many from 1962 to 1965. It became obvi­ous to ALL bat­tal­ion offi­cers that Dan Loomis was extremely smart, very much devoted to his men, and a bril­liant tac­ti­cian. As his Com­pany 2 IC, I observed him com­pletely and cor­rectly analyse the moves that the exer­cise enemy would make dur­ing a com­pany by com­pany TEWT. Fur­ther, he gave young offi­cers tuto­ri­als on infantry tac­tics which in no small way allowed them to pass pro­mo­tion examinations.

He com­manded 1 RCR in Lon­don, ON and in Nicosia, Cyprus (the sum­mer tour of 1970 on the Green Line). As Offi­cer Com­mand­ing A Coy, 1 RCR, I per­son­ally wit­nessed the expert oper­a­tional han­dling of our bat­tal­ion resources by Dan Loomis to ful­fil our task. Dur­ing his com­mand, no “inci­dent” ever became a major issue between UNFI­CYP, the Greek National Guard and the Turk­ish Forces. As an exam­ple of the loy­alty that Dan Loomis received as CO, it must be remem­bered that after six months away from our fam­i­lies, each bat­tal­ion sol­dier and offi­cer had a four week pass on return to Canada. How­ever, seven days after our return, 1 RCR was ordered to the Hull /​Ottawa area dur­ing the FLQ cri­sis – the entire bat­tal­ion returned from leave and was on the ground in FOUR days after receiv­ing the order via tele­phone /​radio announcements !!

In the mid 1970’s, Canada was asked to send a force into Viet­nam to super­vise the peace process. The Cana­dian group was com­manded by LGen Dun­can McAlpine who imme­di­ately chose BGen Dan Loomis to be his Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer; an appoint­ment which only demon­strates the high regard held by senior offi­cers of Dan Loomis’s oper­a­tional capa­bil­ity. Another exam­ple of this regard was that on post­ing to FMC HQ, he was appointed COS Ops – Chief of Oper­a­tions for the Cana­dian Army.

I under­stand that Gen Ram­sey With­ers, a RMC class­mate of Dan Loomis, is writ­ing a biog­ra­phy. I will not com­ment fur­ther on the NDHQ part of Dan’s career as he was Chief of Pro­grams for Gen With­ers who was CDS at the time.

I will close by stat­ing my most hon­est and best trib­ute to our com­rade, Dan Loomis. Of all the Infantry offi­cers that I met or worked with in my 37 years of ser­vice as an Infantry Offi­cer: — If I were ordered into com­bat duty – there is no other offi­cer than Dan Loomis that I would want as my commander.

God bless him and may he rest in peace,

Pro Patria

Bob Hersey

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MGen Dan G. Loomis, MC CD served as a pla­toon com­man­der in Korea, where he was wounded by grenade shrap­nel. His actions earned him the MC. For the remain­der of his life he suf­fered from the wounds with back and leg issues. In 1962 he deployed to Ger­many where he com­manded a com­pany of 1 RCR until return­ing to Canada in 1965. LCol Loomis took com­mand of 1 RCR in 1968, I believe. I was the adju­tant of 1 RCR at that time and remained as his adju­tant until 1970. 1 RCR rotated to Cyprus for its sec­ond tour in the fall of 1969 under Loomis com­mand. As the adju­tant I estab­lished a very close rela­tion­ship with LCol Loomis, a rela­tion­ship which con­tin­ued after his retire­ment. I know for a fact that every deci­sion which he made as CO of 1 RCR was made only after he con­sid­ered all of the facts as they might impact the troops. Often these deci­sions were not pop­u­lar with some of the offi­cers, but they were the right ones for the troops.

Fol­low­ing his com­mand of 1 RCR, he was posted to become chief of staff in west­ern Que­bec. This was on the eve of the FLQ cri­sis in Octo­ber 1970. because of his inti­mate knowl­edge of what was really going on dur­ing this crit­i­cal period of Cana­dian his­tory, Dan Loomis wrote “Not Much Glory, quelling the F.L.Q.” pub­lished by Deneau pub­lish­ing in Toronto. It is a good read.

MGen Loomis served his final years in the ser­vice in NDHQ where he was to be the final sign­ing author­ity on a piece of army gear. Believ­ing that this piece of equip­ment was not right for the army and would lead to need­less loss of life, he refused to sign off on the project. He was ordered to do so and because of his strong belief and the fact that the order came from the high­est level, Dan Loomis decided to resign his com­mis­sion on prin­ci­ple. He was indeed a man of prin­ci­ple and I will miss him even though we have not been in touch for a few years.

Don Jazey

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As some are aware, MGen (ret) Dan Loomis has passed away. Appar­ently he was right here in Ottawa. R Adjt would wel­come input from any who wish to share bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion with him, so he can put out a full report. I have cc’ed Ross Apple­ton, in case you do not have his address.

My slight knowl­edge includes the fact that he com­manded 1 RCR for its deploy­ment on the FLQ cri­sis in 1970. This was a sen­si­tive and dif­fi­cult oper­a­tion that remains part of Canada’s divi­sive inter­nal his­tory; the restraint and steadi­ness of sol­diers of The Royal Cana­dian Reg­i­ment, and oth­ers, on that op is a tes­ta­ment to our army’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism, as well as to the lead­er­ship of men like MGen Loomis. Later he com­manded 2 CMBG (and this included 3 RCR) in the mid-​70s, for Op GAMES­CAN (secu­rity sup­port to 1976 Olympics), and despatched 3 RCR to Cyprus that fall, when the bat­tal­ion was given a break from its long­stand­ing AMF(L) commitment.

May he rest in peace; he served his coun­try well.

Pro Patria

Ivan

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I had known Dan Loomis for many years. He was a class mate in grad­u­a­tion from RMC in 1952 with the likes of Herb Pitts (PPCLI, Air­borne), Ram­say With­ers, Art Van­del and my brother Joe (RCHA) and a num­ber of oth­ers (whose names I have for­got­ten) who went straight from RMC to Korea.. Pro­ceeded to Korea in July 1952 to 1 RCR. I believe that his Pla­toon Sgt was a sol­dier from Car­leton Place (Spike Camelon) from he learned a great deal dur­ing his sojourn in Korea. Gen Pitts and Gen With­ers undoubt­edly knew him bet­ter than a lot of us “avoir­du­pois”; how­ever, I became acquainted with him over the years of ser­vice and had the plea­sure of serv­ing with him at FMC HQ in the 1970s. He and my brother cor­re­sponded over the years until my brother’s demise in 2004. I recall a brief­ing he pre­sented at FMC HQ to the offi­cers in which he placed his pre­sen­ta­tion on the podium and stood off to one side and lec­tured for the com­plete time with­out ref­er­ence to his notes. In my esti­ma­tion he was a bril­liant offi­cer, a gen­tle­man and a friend. I con­sid­ered him to be a “soldier’s offi­cer”. I still have some of is writ­ings that he sent to my brother who was liv­ing in France at the period end­ing in 2004. I know that he served in Ger­many and Indo China (in the 1970s) and of course many other venues.

Eric

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Recent Pass­ings.….

At the going down of the sun,
and in the morn­ing,
We will remem­ber them.