Retired Navy Capt. Alvin Weems Slayden, 70, who commanded antisubmarine and escort vessels during World War II and later served as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, died Friday at his Chevy Chase home after a heart attack.

Capt. Slayden, who was born in Waverly, Tenn., graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1932, Before World War II, he was a communications officer on the staff of the commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet.

Besides his antisubmarine commands, he also commanded destroyer escorts, escorting merchant ship convoys to Europe, during World War II. He subsequently saw duty in Africa, the Middle East and in the Asiatic-Pacific theaters.

From 1958 to 1961, he was director of personnel on the staff of the commander in chief of the U.S. European Command in France. His last post before retiring in 1962 was that of superintendent of the Naval Observatory.

Following his retirement, Capt. Slayden was a patent agent associate with the law firm of Jones, Tullar and Cooper in Arlington.

His military decorations included the Bronze Star Medal with bronze letter "V."

Capt. Slayden's first wife, Carolyn Louise, died in 1966.

Survivors include his wife, the former Erma Dryden Vaughan, of the home; a son, Alvin W. Jr., of Algonquin, III.; a daughter, Billie S. Gnodde, of Ruxton, Md.; three stepdaughters, Nancy King, of Durwood, Md., Dorothy Goldbach, of Pittsburgh, and Gail Auth, of Puerto Rico; two brothers, retired Army Col. William M., of Knoxville Tenn., and retired Air Force Col. Van H., of Waverly, Tenn.; four grandchildren; 12-step-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund.