Henry W. Dorr, 71, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was commander of Tempelhof Air Field in Berlin during the Berlin Airlift of 1948, died of cancer Saturday at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Col. Dorr joined the Army Air Corps in 1927. He was commander of Tempelhof Air Field during the East-West confrontation over Germany that was dramatized by the Berlin Airlift. During the height of that airlift, a plane landed or took off from the airfield in West Berlin every 90 seconds.

During World War II and prior to serving in Germany, Col. Dorr supervised the construction of and commanded the Army's Basic Flying School (later renamed Vance Air Force Base) in Enid, Okla. He had had earlier assignments in Hawaii, San Antonio, Tex., and Langley Field Va.

After serving in Germany, Col. Dorr attended the Imperial Defense College in London, followed by service at the Pentagon from 1950 to 1955. He retired from the Air Force in 1957, after serving two years as chief of the USAF section of the Joint U.S. Military Aid Group in Athens, Greece.

Col. Dorr was born in New York City.

Survivors include his wife, Sheelah M., of the home in Washington; two daughters, Monica Burdeshaw, of Fort Hood, Tex., and Maude Castillo, of Clearwater, Fla., and four grandchildren.