Retired rear admiral Alvin Ingersoll Malstrom, 77, one of the early naval aviators and the commander of two aircraft carriers during World War II, died of cancer Feb. 3 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Adm. Malstrom, a resident of the Washington area for 28 years at the time of his death, was born in Tacoma, Wash. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1922 and shortly thereafter became one of the first naval officers to become a pilot.

From 1948 to 1950, he commanded the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville, Fla. He then was appointed deputy chief of naval operations for air at the Pentagon. He was promoted to rear admiral upon his retirement in 1952. He had maintained a home in Bethesda since then.

Adm. Malstrom's military decorations included the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.

He served for many years after his retirement on the board of governors of the National Health Federation, and organization concerned with improving nutrition. He also lectured widely on nutrition.

He was a member of the Army & Navy Club in Washington, the Washington Philosophical Society and the National Association for Uniformed Services. He also was a member of the Washington State Society.

During World War II, he served aboard the carrier Lexington and then aboard the Enterprise, on which he was air officer during the Battle of Midway in 1942. He commanded the carriers Sangamon and Tarawa later in the war.

Survivors include his wife, the former Carol Lowrey Moore, of the home; three daughters, Mrs. James W. Matchette, of Phoenix; Mrs. Edward A. Robbins, of Annandale, and Mrs. Charles E. Gurney, of Burke; 11 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.