Howard W. Quinn, 71, a retired Army colonel who was a consultant on the development of ports in the United States and several other countries, died of a heart attack April 23 at his home in Crofton, Md.

Col. Quinn was born in Temple, Tex. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1930 and became a specialist in amphibious landing craft. During World War II he was assigned to the Army general staff in Washington and then to the Port of New York. He later served in New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war, he was assigned to Japan and Korea. He retired from the Army in 1950.

From 1951 to 1960, he was a port consultant to the government of Peru. He then lived in New Fairfield, Conn., and continued his work through extensive travels. He was involved in the design and operation of marine terminals in Latin America, Africa and the Far East. He had lived in Crofton since 1969. His last assignment was in the Philippines for the International Executive Service Corps. He returned from it shortly before his death.

Col. Quinn was a former director and honorary life member of the American Association of Port Authorities and of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. He also was a life member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, a member of the National Defense Transportation Association, the Army-Navy Club of Manila, the Army-Navy Club in Washington and the Bankers Club of Lima, Peru.

Survivors include his wife, Jean Linn Quinn, of the home in Crofton; a brother, R. David Quinn, of Boston, and a sister, Mrs. Thomas F. Cawley, of Nashua, N.H.

Thef amily suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association.