Olaf M. Hustvedt, 92, a retired Navy vice admiral who commanded battleships in the Atlantic and the Pacific during World War II, died Friday at his home in Washington. He had a heart ailment.
In addition to his career at sea, Adm. Hustvedt was a specialist in ordnance. In 1919, when he was a lieutenant commander and head of the experimental section of the Navy's bureau of ordnance, he played a role in giving Dr. Robert Goddar, the noted rocket pioneer, his first government research contact. He also approved a contract for Carl Norden to work on his famous bombsight.
In 1921, Adm. Hustvedt helped organize the tests in which the hull of a captured german ship was sunk off the Virginia capes. Gen. Billy Mitchell participated in this exercise.
Adm. Hustvedt was born in Chicago. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909 and earned a master of science degree from George Washington University in 1914.
During World War I, he served on a battleship in the Atlantic. He held various commands at sea between the wars in addition to his work on experimental ordnance. He graduated from the Navy War College in 1941, and then took brief command of the battleship USS North Carolina, then a new ship.
He was promoted to rear admiral that year and was chief of staff to Adm. Ernest J. King, then commander of the atlantic Fleet. When King became chief of naval operations, Adm. Hustvedt stayed on as chief of staff to King's successor, Adm. Royal E. Ingersoll.
In 1943, Adm. Hustvedt assumed command of all the battleships in the Atlantic and took part in operations with the British Navy against German shipping off the coast of Norway.
In 1944, he took command of Battleship division 7. The division was sent to the Pacific and took part in campaigns for the Marshall Islands, the Carolines, the Marianas, New guinea and the first assault on the Philippines.
Adm. Hustvedt was placed on the retirement list in 1945 for reasons of health. He remained on active duty until June 1946, when be was promoted to vice admiral, and retired.
His decorations included two Legions of Merit and the Order of the British Empire.
Survivors include his wife, Iren Cooper Hustvedt, whom he married in 1912, of the home; a daughter, Mrs. Philip Hauck, of Winchester, Mass.; two sons, Erling, a retired captain in the Navy Reserve, of Annandale, and Stephen, of Annapolis, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Navy Relief Society, or to Children's Hospital.