Retired Army Col. Charles W. Metz Jr., 59, former deputy comamnder of Watler Reed Army Medical Center, died of cancer May 21 in Memphis, Tenn.

Since 1972 when he retired from military service as deputy commander at Walter Reed, he has been chief of orthopedics at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Memphis.

Col. Metz joined the Army medical center here in 1959. He was assistant chief of orthopedic surgery until 1962. After a two-year assignment in the Panama Canal Zone, he returned to Walter Reed as chief of orthopedic surgery.

In 1969, he was named chief of the department of surgery and two years later became deputy commander of the medical center.

Col. Metz was born in Denver, Colo. He received a medical degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He entered the Army Medical Corps in 1946 and trained at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver.

He came to Walter Reed after three years in Germany and another five years at Fort Ord in California.

His Army decorations included the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster.

From 1964 to 1972, Col. Metz was an associate professor of orthospedics at George Washington University. Since moving to Memphis, he had taught at the University of Tennessee.

He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Academy of Orthospaedic Surgeons, the American Society for Surgery of Traume and the American Medical Association.

He is survied by hiw wife, Peggy F., of the home in Memphis; three sons, Charles W. III, of Brookville, Md., Douglas E. of Mooretown, N.J., and Martin K., of Silver Spring; two daughters, Lauretts M. Stix and Karla sister, Ellamae Holstrom of Praire Village Kan., and for grandchildren.

The family suggedts that expessions of sympathy in the form of contributings to St. Judge's Children's Hospital in Memphis. CAPTION: Picture, COL. CHARLES W. METZ JR., 1964 Photo