Retired Air Force Col. David Lauchlin Hobson, 79, a combat veteran of both world wars, died Monday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital. He suffered from a heart ailment.

Col. Hobson was born in Louisville, Ky., and grew up in Ontario, Canada. During World War I, he joined Britain's Royal Flying Corps and flew 17 missions in France as a pilot in the 100th Flying Squadron.

He returned to Canada after the war and worked as a financial analyst in Montreal. At the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Canadian volunteer army and became a squadron leader in the Royal Canadian Air Force, flying submarine reconnaissance off the coast of North America.

In 1942, Col. Hobson transferred to the U.S. Army military intelligence service and participated in the invasion of Normandy and in campaigns in northern France and the Rhineland.

After the war he served with a military government detachment in Bavaria. Later he served here at Department of the Air Force headquarters. From 1950 until he retired in 1964, he was a civilian intelligence specialist with the Army Security Agency.

Col. Hobson was a Mason and a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, World War I Flyers and the Reserve Officers Association.

He is survived in Springfield; two daughters, Daphne H. Malcolm, of Alexandria, and Diane H. Fishcher, of San Rafael, Calif., and five grandchildren.

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