Frank W. Dunham Sr., 62, naval architect and engineer who worked as a civillian employe of the Navy Department for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1970, died Friday at a hospital in Whispering Pines, N.C., after a heart attack.

He joining the Navy Department during World War II, and worked as a structural design engineer at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Mr. Dunham came to Washington in 1945 where he worked on submarine structural design projects at the old Bureau of Ships.

He served as chief naval architect at the Postsmouth Naval Ship Yard in New Hampshire for five years before returning here in 1964 to work at the Naval Ships Research and Development Center at Carderock, Md.

Mr. Dunham retired from the Navy Department in 1970 after six years as chief of the hull structure research unit for deep submergents at Carderock.

A noted area amateur tennis player and bowler, Mr. Dunham won a number of Washington and Arlington public parks tennis tournaments during the 1950s, and was elected to the National Capital Area Bowling Hall of Fame in 1973. He belonged to the Westwood Country Club in McLean.

Mr. Dunham was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean.

He was a native of Meadville, Pa., and graduate of Bucknell University.

He had lived in North Carolina since 1970.

He is survived by two sons, Frank Jr., of Alexandria, and Randall, of Saco, Maine; a brother, Charles B., of Whispering Pines; two sisters, Ruth Strobel, of Hornell, N.Y., and Margaret Congdon, of Lawton, Okla., and four grandchildren.