Retired Air Force Col. Richard T. Walsh Jr., 55, a veteran of three wars, died Saturday at Malcolm Grow Hospital, Andrews Air Force Base, after a long illness. He suffered from leukemia.

Col. Walsh was assigned to the commander's management center, air Force Systems Command at Andrews at the time of his retirement in 1971. Since then, the had been an auditor and management analyst with the Fairfax COunty public school system.

Born in East Orange, N.J., he attended the University of Hawaii. He earned borh bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Jackson College in Honolulu.

Most of his 27 years in military service were spent as a navigator. He saw duty in the Pacific in World War and in Vietnam.

Col. Walsh's decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and a son, Kevin C., of the home in Camp Springs; three other sons, Richard T. III, of Chicago, Robert E., of San Francisco, and Michael A., of Riverdale; his mother, Mrs R. T. Walsh and a brother, Joseph P., both of San Diego, Calif., and a sister, Mrs. Henry Buckwalter, of East Orange.