Retired Army Major Jim Greer, 56, an Agriculture Department official who was a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict, died Friday at Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, Va., following a heart attack.

He came to Washington with the Agriculture Department in 1967. In 1975, he became deputy director of the Department's food distribution division, a post he held at the time of his death.

Mr. Greer received the Certificate of Merit for distinguished service from the Department in 1975.

He had enlisted in the Army in 1942 and participated in the Normandy landings as a noncommissioned officer in the 4th Infantry Division. Nicknamed the "Ivy division," the 4th Infantry division helped liberate Paris, participated in the Battle of Bulge, and was in Bavaria when the war ended.

Maj. Greer received a battlefield commission during the war, and also was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart.

He later saw combat in Korea. He was serving as a nuclear weapons officer in this country at the time of his Army retirement in 1964.

Maj. Greer joined the Agriculture Department in Atlanta in 1965. He worked in the food program there before being transfered to Washington.

He was born in Nashville, Tenn., and reared in Tampa, Fla. He attended the University of Georgia.

He is survived by his wife, Marjory Sara, of the home in Arlington; his mother, Florence Greer, a sister, Pauline Clark, and a brother, Melvin L., all of Tampa; another brother, John, of Crestview, Fla., and two grandchildren.