Maj. Gen. Frank A. Tobey, 74, former chief of chaplains of the Army, died of cancer Tuesday in a hospital in Fair Hope, Ala.

Gen. Tobey was commissioned a chaplian with the equivalent rank of first lieutenant in the Army Reserves in 1938. He went on active duty in 1941, and with the exception of the years 1945 to 1947, when he served the Lookout Mountain Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., remained in the Army for more than 20 years.

His active service included assignment in the southwest Pacific during World War II: Japan after the war; Korea during the conflict there, and at numerous posts in this country.

In 1953, he was assigned to the office of the chief of chaplains in the Pentagon. He was appointed chief of chaplains in 1958, and held that post until his retirement in 1962.

He held the Distinguished Service Medal.

Following his retirement, Gen. Tobey served for several years as pastor of the Balboa Union Baptist Church in the Panama Canal Zone. He also served as an interim pastor at Memorial Baptist Church and Rock Creek Congregational Church, both in Arlington, and at the Palisades Community Church in Washington.

Gen. Tobey was born in Everett, Mass. He graduated from Gordon College and Gordon Divinity School in Baverly Farms, Mass., and attended Hartford Seminary and Yale Divinity School He served in churches in Massachusetts and Connecticut before beginning his military career.

Survivors include his wife, Edna Sheppard Tobey, of the home in Fair Hope; a daughter, Marcia Swanson, of Vienna, Va., and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, Ft. Myer, Va.