Thomas L. Gilson, 51, a retired photo analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, died of cancer Friday at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

Mr. Gilson had worked for the CIA's Photo Interpretation Center for 13 years before retiring for reasons of health in September.

He was born in Glen Dale, W.Va., and reared in Hopedale, Ohio.

Mr. Gilson enlisted in the Army in 1945. He was later commissioned an officer, served with the 101st airborne division and as an aerial photographic interpreter in Washington. He retired from the Army in 1965 with the rank of major.

During the mid 1970s, he coached a girls' softball team, the Lucky Stars, in the Pixie League in Sterling Park, Va. His team, composed of girls who ranged from 8 to 12 years old, won the league championship in 1974.

Mr. Gilson was a member of Christ The Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling Park.

He is survived by his wife, Gerrude, and two daughters, Pam and Karen, allof the home in Sterling Park; another daughter, Debbie Free, of Reston; a brother, John. of Michigan; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis V. Gilson, and two sisters, Martha Manbeck and Nancy Whitehead, all of Hopedale.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to either the American Cancer Society or the Sterling Park Rescue Squad.