Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Eric Scott Holmgrain, 56, a veteran of World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam war, died Dec. 25 in Steffield England, after a brain surgery.

His last assignment before retiring in 1968 was deached duty with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency of the State Department in Washington.

Born in Moline III., Col. Holmgrain grew up in Dearborn, Mich. He graduated in 1942 when he was commissioned in the Marine Corps.

He served in the Pacific in World War II. After serving in the Korean conflict, he was assigned to operations and training at Marine headquarters here.

Col. Holmgrain saw extensive service as a troop leader in Vietnam and was a senior staff officer with the 3d Marine Amphihous Force there.

He also had been comptroller of the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeme, N.C. before his last assignment here. He held the Distinguished Service Cross. Legion of Merit and three Bronze Stars.

He was a member of the Army and Navy Club in Washington.

In recent years, Col. Holmgrain had lived in Mombasa, Kenya.

He is survived by his mother, Hazel Holmgrain, of Rock Island, III., and a brother, Benjamin, of Memphis, Tenn.