Retired Air Force Col. Austin C. Lemon Jr., 52, a World War II pilot, died of leukemia Saturday at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base.

Col. Lemon was assigned to the Special Operations Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he retired in 1974 after 31 years of active duty. He had previously served as director of information for the headquarters command at Bolling Air Force Base.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant pilot in 1944. He flew B24's with the 15th Air Force in Italy during World War II. He also served at Ascension Island and Labrador.

Born in Portsmouth, Va., Col. Lemon grew up in Raleigh, N.C. He studied engineering at North Carolina State University and Ohio State University and graduated in 1951 from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio.

He worked as an electrical engineer with the Armed Forces Nuclear Weapons Project from 1951 to 1953 and later served 13 years with the Strategic Air Command in assignments which included B-47 instructor pilot and command briefing officer.

He is survived by his wife, the former Elizabeth Andrews; and two sons, Austin III, of Atlanta, Ga. and William, of the home in Alexandria.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be made to the Leukemia Society of America.