Joe F. Lasseter Jr., 55, a retired Navy captain who was an engineer for a consulting firm in Arlington, died of cancer Wednesday at Arlington Hospital.

Capt. Lasseter was born in Akron, Ohio, and grew up in Asheville, N.C. An enlisted man during World War II, he served on the carrier USS Hornet in the Pacific in the Battle of Midway and several other engagements. He was aboard the Hornet when the ship was sunk in October 1942.

The following year, he became a Navy aviation cadet. He was commisioned and received his pilot's wings in 1946. He flew 85 combat missions in the Korean conflict and also served aboard the carrier Constellation in Vietnam waters during the war there.

Capt. Lasseter had several assignments as a test pilot during his career. He also commanded the U.S. naval training command in Morocco, and served in Washington from 1968 to 1971 and again from 1974 until his retirement from the Navy in 1975.

In 1976, he became an engineer with Veda Inc., a consulting firm in Arlington.

Capt. Lasseter's military decorations included the Bronze Star and seven Air Medals. He also was decorated by the government of South Vietnam.

He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from George Washington University in 1971.

Survivors include his wife, the former Miriam Vigeant, and a son, Randolph, both of the home in Falls Church; a daughter, Deborah, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., and his mother, Callie Lasseter, of Greensboro, N.C.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society. CAPTION: Picture, JOE F. LASSETER JR.