Retired Army colonel John B. Corbett, 63, who served as an official with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1954 until retiring in 1968, died of cancer Wednesday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital.

He was born in New York City and graduated from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in 1937. He remained there as an Army Reserve officer teaching ROTC until he was commissioned in the regular Army in 1940.

During World War II, Col. Corbett commanded a U.S. Army mine planter. He served SHAEF headquarters in Europe and at headquarters of the Southeast Asia Command in India, Ceylon and Singapore.

After the war, he served with the Joint Chiefs of Staff here, participated in the initial hydrogen bomb tests at Eniwetok and worked at SHAPE headquarters in Paris, France. After joining the CIA, he left active Army duty but remained in the Reserves until retires in 1975.

Col. Corbett had been active in the Boy Scouts and was an adviser to Explorer Post 654 in Mount Vernon.

He is survived by his wife, Emmy, of the home in Falls Church; a son, CHarles F. of Mount Vernon, N.H.; three daughters, Mrs. G. Paul Holman and Mrs. John P. Stange, both of Vienna, Va., and Margaret A. Corbett, of Falls Church, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.