Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard D. Wentworth, 73, who had held high assignments in both the Army and the Air Force, died Wednesday at his home in Arlington after a long illness.

He was secretary to the Joint Chifs of Staff when he retired in 1958M a positiion he had held for two years.

Born in Kansas, Gen. Wentworth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1929 and was assigned to the field artillery.

Prior to World II, he served in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and was an instructer at the Military Academy for four years.

During the war, he served as deputy chief of intelligence on the staff on Gen. Omar Bradley at 12th Army Group Headquarters in France and Germany.

Gen. Wentworth transferred to the Air Force when that department was established in 1947 and was assigned to the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington.

He graduated from the National War College here in 1950. Two years later, he went to France as special assistant to Gen. Lauris Norstad, then commander of Allied Air Forces, Central Europe. Later he was with Gen. Norstad at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers.

Gen. Wentworth returned here in 1955 as deputy secretary to the Joint Chiefs and became secretary about a year later.

After retiring from military service, he taught mathematics for several years at the former Sullivan Preparatory School in Washington.

His military decorations included the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and decorations from France, Belgium and Poland.

He is survived by his wife, Isable Wentworth, of the home.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.