Retired Navy Capt. William Dwight Chandler Jr., 86, a line officer who commanded destroyers, cruisers and submarines, died Wednesday at Manor Care Nursing Home in Arlington.

His last assignment from 1943 until his retirement in 1946, was secretary to the old General Board of the Navy Department.

Capt. Chandler was commander of the cruiser U.S.S. Northampton, which was based at Pear Harbor when the Japanese attacked in 1941. She was at sea at the time and escaped damage. He served at Pearl Harbor until returning to Washington in 1943.

Born in Winona, Wis., he grew up in Concord, N.H. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1911 and later was an instructor there from 1929 to 1933.

Capt. Chandler was on convey duty during World War I and received the Navy Cross. He also had a tour of duty at the Naval Observatory here in the 1930s.

He was a member of the Army and Navy and Chevy Chase clubs and had served as a senior warden at Christ Episcopal Church in Georgetown.

He is survived by five children, Mrs. Victor H. Krulak, of San Diego, Calif., Mrs. James R. Hester, of Harrison, Ark., retired Navy Capt. Charles R. Chandler, of Alexander, Mrs. John. M. Reigart, of Charleston, S.C., and William D. Chandler, of Brussels, Belgium; 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to Christ Church or to Children's Hospital.