Arthur M. Johnson, 75, a retired Navy Commander and inventor, died Thursday at Holy Cross Hospital after an apparent heart attack.

He moved to this area in 1941 to work with the War Production Board, advising it on the machine tool industry and war readiness.

He received a naval commission in 1943, and served as a senior engineering officer and technical adviser to the inspector general's office. He also served several years as director of industrial engineering at the Navy's Bureau of Ships before he retired in 1953 with the rank of commander.

Born in Frankfort, Mich., Mr. Johnson learned about the machine tool industry and engineering while working in plants in Illinois. Although he had no formal university training, he became well known as an inventor and developer of a variety of machines.

After he retired from the Navy, Mr. Johnson advised a number of machine tool companies on government relations and volunteered his help at vocational rehabilitation shops of the former National Rehabilitation Hospital in Arlington.

He invented a machine to help train hunting dogs and also helped develop and manufacture a collator that was invented by Prof. Charlton Hinman.

The collator was used by libraries in checking errors in manuscripts through the use of mirrors and flashing lights when a discrepancy between two texts emerged. This replaced the laborious method of checking the texts by human eye alone. These collators are now used by a number of college libraries around the world.

Mr. Johnson belonged to the Masons. He was a member of the Society of Mechnical Engineers, the American Society of Naval Engineers, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was a past president of the D.C. chapter.

He is survived by his wife, Marguerite V., of the home in Silver Spring, and two sisters, Grace Dollar, of Coronado, Calif., and Ruth Manchester, of Forest Grove, Ore.

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