Bill Pitman (now 91 years) was 22 years old when he left with the Fifth Māori Reinforcements for overseas service during the Second World War. He was one of four brothers who enlisted with the Māori Battalion while another brother served in the Navy during the war.
Bill reached Egypt in 1941 and was involved in the Battalion's desert campaigns before going on to serve in Italy. He was involved in the infamous attack on the Railway Station at Cassino where A and B Companies suffered heavy casualties.
In 2010 Bill was the president of the 28th Māori Battalion Association. He resides in Ngunguru near Whāngārei.