Retired Army Lt. Col. Paul A. Conlin, 71, a former newspaperman and combat correspondent who retired in 1960 as a staff officer with the Army's Office of Information, died Jan. 13 at the home of a daughter, Ann Mooers, of Potomac, following a heart attack.

During World War II, Col. Conlin served in the Pacific theater. He was one of the first correspondents assigned to combat troops. He subsequently was an information officer with occupation forces in Japan and Germany.

Col. Conlin joined the Army's Office of Information in 1950, where he was chief of the news branch, deputy chief of the public information division and information liaison officer for the Army to the National Aeronautics and Space Agency.

Before his military service, he had been a reporter in New York City and for the Washington Times-Herald here.

From 1962 until retiring a second time in 1977, Col. Conlin had worked for Army magazine as an editor, writer and congressional liaison.

A native of Worcester, Mass., he earned a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross there, and later attended Harvard Law School.

Col. Conlin, who lived in Washington, was married to the former Beatrice Peebles, who died in 1977.

In addition to Mrs. Mooers, survivors include two other children, Elizabeth Smith, of Jefferson Valley, N.Y., and Andrew P., of Cambridge, Mass., and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Association of Montgomery County.