George Henry Happ, 79, a retired Navy captain and a lawyer in Washington for more than 50 years, died Wednesday at his home in Washington after a long illness.

A third-generation Washingtonian, he had served as a chief petty officer in World War I and remained in the Navy Reserves.

After the war, Mr. Happ attended Georgetown University Law School, where he earned bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees in law. He was active in his own private general practice here until recently. He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Happ was recalled to active duty in the Navy in World War II. As a captain in the Supply Corps, he held key logistical assignments and was responsible for supply support to the forces of the fleets. He was stationed at various bases around the country.

After the war, he returned to inactive duty and retired from the Navy in 1958.

Mr. Happ was a charter member of the Costello Post of the American Legion and received its Golden Anniversary Membership Award. He was a life member of the D.C. Bar Association.

He is survived by his wife, Nellie (Pat) Sullivan Happ, of the home; two daughters, Mary Ann Rivard, of Cherry Hills, N.J., and Patricia Nell Carcich, of Omaha, Neb.; a sister, Alma M. Happ, of Washington, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.