Wayne G. Althaus, 66, former chief of manpower resources in the Office of Emergency Preparedness, died Sunday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda after apparently suffering a heart attack.

Born in Findly, Ohio, he was a graduate of Miami University in Ohio and the University of Cincinnati School of Law. He also took graduate work at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Althaus entered government service as secretary of the Civilian Manpower Policy Committee in 1942. He then served in the Navy for three years during World War II. He was a retired commander in the Naval Reserve.

After the war, he worked in a number of planning and executive positions with the Veterans Administration, the Munitions Board the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Federal Civil Defense Administration and the Office of Defense Mobilization.

While with the Office of Emergency Preparedness, Mr. Althaus was sent to Paris and Saigon as a technical adviser on manpower problems, and later did similar work in Pakistan for the Agency for International Development.

Mr. Althaus retired in 1972. In recent years he had done volunteer tax work for the Association of Retired Persons.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, and a daughter, Vicki, both of the home in Bethesda; two other daughters, Karen Grigg, of Oxon Hill, and Ann Davis, of Derwood, Md.; a brother, Leland, of Columbus, Ohio, and three grandchildren.