Frederick R. Schoenborn, 72, a retired Labor Department employment specialist, died Sunday at Arlington Hospital after a long illness.

At his retirement in 1960, he was chief of labor clearance in the bureau of employment security.

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Schoenborn graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., in 1927. He then served for a number of years as manager of the National Re-employment Service in Uniontown, Pa.

He joined the Labor Department in Washington in 1938 as a field representative for the U.S. Employment Service.

During the Hungarian uprising in 1956, Mr. Schoenborn set up field offices in Europe to help funnel Hungarian refugees to Camp Kilmer, N.J., and later worked at Camp Kilmer, helping them find employment in this country.

During World War II, he served as an Army intelligence officer in North Africa and Europe.

Mr. Schoenborn had been a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Jennie, of the home in Arlington; a daughter, Marilyn, of Easton; a son William, of Feeding Hills, Mass., and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund.