Retired Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth C. Hurd, 74, a submarine commander in World War II and transport commander in the Korean conflict, died Friday at the Bethesda Naval Hospital after a long illness.

He was in command of the submarine, the U.S.S. Seal, in Manila Bay when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Seal left the Philippines and made its way to Australia, participating in five war patrols in the Pacific.

In 1942, Adm. Hurd was awarded the Navy Cross for attacking a superior force of Japanese ships. He later commanded a submarine division and then Submarine Squadron 32, which participated in a number of major campaigns in the Pacific.

During the Korean conflict, Adm. Hurd was commander of Transport Division 13, which was sent into Korean waters. His last assignment from 1952 until his retirement in 1955 was that of head of the plans and policy branch of Naval Intelligence in Washington.

In addition to the Navy Cross, his decorations included the Legion of Merit.

Born in Metamora, Mich., Adm. Hurd graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1925. He spent more than 20 years in submarine service.

He is survived by his wife, Cornelia, of the home in Bethesda; two sons, Navy Cdr. Robert C., of Memphis, Tenn., and John Kenneth, of Bethesda, and one grandchild.

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