Retired Navy Rear Adm. Thomas R. Kurtz, 69, a Navy communications and security officer who was a combat veteran of World War II, died of cancer May 15 in a San Diego, Calif., hospital.

In October 1942, Adm. Kurtz was named communications officer and navigator of the light cruiser Denver, earning a letter of commendation with Combat "V" for his service as navigator of his ship during the Solomon Islands campaign in November 1943.

Later in the war, he was a member of the staff of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC), and earned a Bronze Star medal for his work as a communications officer. The citation stated that "he was responsible in large measure for the success our communications system experienced in keeping close contact with Fleet and amphibious operations."

In 1945, Adm. Kurtz joined the Fleet Communications Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he served until 1951.

He was commanding officer of the Naval Security Station in Washington from 1954 to 1957, then, following a tour of duty in San Diego, served as director of the Naval Security Group at the Pentagon for tww years before retiring in 1963. He was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Adm. Kurtz was born in San Francisco. He attended high school in Annapolis, St. James School in Hagerstown, Md., and the Severn Preparatory School in Severna Park. He was a 1931 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

He served aboard destroyers and cruisers and was radio and communications officer of the battleship Nevada before World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Doris A., of the home in El Cajon, Calif.; a son, Thomas R. III, of Gaithersburg; a sister, Virginia von Stein, of Riverside, Conn.