Retired Army Lt. Gen. Blackshear M. Bryan Jr., 77, former superintendent at West Point, died Wednesday at the Sligo Garden Nursing Home in Silver Spring after a long illness.

He headed the Military Academy during 1954-56. He graduated from there in 1922, and had returned on a number of occasions as an instructor and twice as an assistant football coach.

Gen. Bryan served on the general staff corps of the Department of the Army here during World War II and was a combat leader in Korea during the conflict there.

He was former provost marshall general of the Army and was commanding general of the First Army when he retired in 1960.

Born in Alexandria, La., Gen. Bryan attended Virginia Military Institue before his appointment to West Point. He played football at the Military Academy and was commissioned in the field artillary upon graduation.

After serving at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas, in Baltimore and at Ft. Sill, Okla., he returned to the Military Academy in 1925 as assistant provost marshall.

Gen. Bryan's assignments took him back and forth between Ft. Sill and West Point, where he again was assistant football coach in 1934.

He later graduate from the Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth and the Army War College here.

He was named provost marshall general at the end of World War II, in 1948, he was assigned to the Canal Zone as chief of staff of the Caribbean Command.

Gen. Bryan assumed command of the 24th Infantry Division in Korea in 1951, and led it through heavy fighting. That same year, he became deputy chief of staff, Far East Command and United Nations Command in Japan.

He was named senior member of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in 1953 and directed control of the prisoner-of-war exchange and the activities of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Committee.

Gen. Bryan assumed command of the U.S. 1st Corps in Korea at the end of 1963. He was commanding general of the U.S. Army, Pacific in 1956-57, and of the 1st Army from 1957 until retirement.

He then became president of Nassau County College in New York until retiring for a second time in 1965, when he moved to Fairfax.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine DeArmond Bryan, of the home in Fairfax; two sons, Robert E., of New York City, and Army Maj. James E., of Ft. Stewart, Ga.; a daughter, Catherine M., of Glenwood, N.M.; a sister, Mrs. Sam Williams, of Lynchburg, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the West Point Fund on AOG at the U.S. Military Academy.