Retired Army Col. William G. Davidson, 72, a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict who later worked as a French teacher in this area, died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

He recently had undergone surgery for a head injury suffered in a fall at his Fairfax home.

Col. Davidson was commissioned into the Army after graduating from the Military Academy at West Point in 1932.

During World War II he served in the infantry in the Pacific Theater. During the occupation of Japan, he was military governor of Hokkaido, Japan.

He later served as a battalion and regimental commander in the Korean conflict.

His other assignments included service as deputy intelligence officer for NATO Central Forces in France.

Col. Davidson was born in Stamford, Conn. He grew up in New Haven, Conn., and attended Yale University before entering West Point.

Following his military retirement in 1961, he did postgraduate work in Romance languages and French literature at George Washington University and earned a graduate degree in French from the University of Grenoble in France.

He then taught French at Fairfax High School and local private schools before retiring a second time in 1968.

Col. Davidson's military decorations include two Bronze Star Medals.

He was a member of the Association of Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, the Yale Alumni Association and the Kiwanis International.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothea Wright Davidson, of the home in Fairfax; a son, William G. III, of Rockville, and two sisters, Jane Mercugliano and Helen Davidson, both of Branford, Conn.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the West Point Fund, Class of 1932 Account, West Point, N.Y. 10996. CAPTION: Picture, COL. WILLIAM G. DAVIDSON