Retired Navy Cdr. David Lee Staley, 53, a Navy pilot and combat veteran of World War II, died Wednesday at Arlington Hospital after apparently suffering a heart attack.

From 1961 until his retirement in 1964, he was with the Defense Atomic Support Agency at the Pentagon.

Born in Telluride, Colo., Cdr. Staley grew up in Hagerstown, Md. He was a graduate of Catawba College in Salisburgy, N.C.

During World War II, he flew in the Pacific from the carrier U.S.S Saratoga.

In 1944 and 1945, he was stationed in Jacksonville, Fla. He was attached to the Blue Angels squadron although he did not fly as a member.

After serving in Trinidad and attending General Line School in Monterey, Calif., Cdr. Staley served abroad several carriers that transported bombers with atomic bombs. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

From 1953 to 1955, he was assigned to the Navy Department's bureau of aeronautics in Washington, working on the development of airplanes, then saw two years of duty in the Mediterranean area.

Cdr. Staley was flag secretary to the commander of the Navy Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, in Norfolk in 1960 and 1962.

After retiring from the navy, he became associated with several private air-conditioning and heating firms in the Washington area. He was with the Washington office of the York Corrugating Co. at the time of his death.

Cdr. Staley was treasurer of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean and a member of the Retired Officers Association.

He is survived by his wife, Olif E., of the home in McLean; a daughter, Linda Lee Blake, of Quantico; a son, John David, of Greenville, N.C.; a sister, Mrs. C.M. Potterfield, of Hagerstown, and a grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Memorial Fund of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.