Retired ARMY Col. Henry C. Thayer, 61, an ordance officer and veteran of World War II, died of cancer Tuesday at Walter Reed Hospital.

His last assignment before retiring in 1959 was with the Army's department of logistics at the Pentagon. He then worked for the American Ordance Association and for the past nine year had been with Vitro Laboraties, Inc., in Silver Spring.

Born in Central Falls, R.I., Col. Thayer grew up in Putnam, Conn. He graduted from the Military Academy at West Point in 1935.

During World War II, he was assigned to the Army Air Forces, serving as ordnance officer with the 1st Bomber Command in NEW York, and then as ordnance officer with the 13th Air Force in the South Pacific.

Col. Thayer received a master's degree in science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He also graduated in 1955 from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

He is survived by his wife, Arline Snider Thayer, of the home in Silver Spring; two daughters, Donna T. Burch of Silver Spring, and Carole T. Brown, of Rockville; a son, Richard S., of Boca Raton, Fla.; a sister, Martha T. Lomartire, of Concord, N.H., and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be sent in the form of contributions to the kidney transplant office, Transplant Patient Services Fund, University of Minnesota Hospitals in Minneapolis.