Retired Army Col. William Elton Kaley, 71, a Signal Corps officer, died of cancer April 20 in Venice, Fla., where he had lived since 1963.

He had served two tours of duty in Washington, first at the Armed Forces Industrial College in 1947 and 1948, and the second with The Army general staff at the Pentagon from 1952 to 1956.

Born in Warrior, Ala., Col. Kaley graduated in electrical engineering from Auburn University.

Before World War II, he had served several tours with the Army. A member of the Army Reserves, he was recalled to active duty and spent the war years with the Signal Corps supply Depot at Philadelphia.

From 1949 to 1952, he was on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo. He received the Legion of Merit for his work during the Korean conflict.

Col. Kaley's last assignment before retiring in 1960 was that of commanding officer of the Signal Corps depot at Decatur, Ill. He then lived in Buffalo, N.Y., until moving to Florida.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Ferrell Kaley, of the home in Venice; a daughter, Mrs. David T. Petter, of Alexandria; a brother, Charles P., and a sister, Mrs. Robert C. GIllespie, both of Warrior; another sister, Mrs. Kenneth Reimer, of Birmingham, and two grandchildren.