Retired Air Force Col. Harold C. Kirchner, 85, who had served with the Army in both world wars and later was chief of Air Force food service, died of a kidney infection Tuesday at the Washington Home. He had lived there for two years.

Col. Kirchner was born in Newark, N.J. In 1911, he enlisted in a cavalry troop of the New Jersey National Guard, known as the Essex Troop, and later saw duty on the Mexican border during the revolution in that country.

He was commissioned in the cavalry at Fort Myer, Va., transferred to the infantry and saw combat duty in France in World War I, in which he was wounded.

After the war, Col. Kirchner continued to ride with the Essex Troop equestrian team, participating in major competitions. He lived in Orange, N.J., was a participant and a judge in horse shows and sold equestrian insurance.

Recalled to active duty in World War II, he served with the Army Quartermaster Corps in the Aleutian Islands. After the war he came here to the office of the quartermaster general. He transferred to the Air Force in 1947 and retired from military service in 1953.

His decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

From 1955 until a second retirement in 1964, Col. Kirchner was an emergency food consultant with the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service, working for five years of that period out of offices in Battle Creek, Mich.

He is survived by his wife, Lois C., of the home in Arlington; a son, Philip H., of Newark; a daughter, Diane K. Leonetti, of New York City, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Arlington.