Jerome R. Gibbons, 55, a former cartography chief of the U.S. Geological Survey special maps branch, died Nov. 19 at Holy Cross Hospital after a heart attack.

He joined the special maps branch in 1946 and was named chief of cartography in 1966. He retired six years later. He returned to the Geological Survey in 1977 as a contracting officer at the special mapping center in Reston.

While with the Geological Survey, he received a number of government awards, including citations from the Commerce Committee for his work on census maps and from the Senate Appropriations Committee for his help in preparing a map on Italian facilities.

Mr. Gibbons was a native of Washington and attended Columbia Technical School.

He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific during World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Anna, and two sons, Michael and Jamie, all of the home in Silver Spring; three daughters, Karen A. Slagle, of Ijamsville, Md., and Jeri Gibbons and Linda G. Cullins, both of Rockville; his mother Ruth M. Gibbons, of Silver Spring; a sister, Hyacinthe Raunser, of Virginia Beach, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund.