Rear Adm. Walter Charles Ansel, 80, a veteran of both World Wars, died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in Annapolis.

Adm. Ansel was born in Elgin, Ill., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1918. He served on convoy escort duty in the Atlantic in the closing months of World War I.

His peacetime career included assignments ashore and afloat. While stationed at the Naval War College at Newport, R.I., and at the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, Va., he developed an interest in amphibious warfare. During World War II, he took part in the invasions of Africa, Sicily and Southern France as a staff officer and then as captain of the cruiser USS Philadelphia. He retired in 1949 and was promoted to rear admiral on that occasion.

His decorations included the Legion of Merit and the Croix de Guerre, the latter having been conferred by France.

Adm. Ansel settled on a farm outside Annapolis following his retirement. He was a Forrestal Fellow at the Naval Academy in 1951 and was the author of two books, "Hitler Confronts England," a study of why Germany did not attempt to invade England during World War II, and "Hitler and the Middle Sea," a study of the German invasion of Crete.

Survivors include his wife, Eleanor Dyer Ansel of the home in Annapolis; two sons, Capt. David D. Ansel, USN (Retd), of Annapolis, and Willits D. Ansel, of Mystic, Conn; a daughter* Mrs Carvel H. Blair, of Norfolk, Va.; a sister, Marie Ansel, of Batavia, III., seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.