Dr. Mor James McCarthy, 57, a former Washington resident and decorated veteran of the Korean conflict who served as chairman of Hawaiian Board of Medical Examiners after leaving Washington about 1960, died of cancer Saturday in his home in Kailua, Oahu.

Dr. McCarthy was a native of Washington. He earned a bachelor's degree at Georgetown University and was a 1947 graduate of Georgetown University's medical school. He interned at the old Emergency Hospital before entering the Navy in 1952.

He saw service in Korea with the 1st Marine Division as a combat surgeon during the Korean conflict. In 1954 he was awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant for "saving the lives of many Marines by performing emergency operations under adverse battle conditions." He returned to Washington that same year and was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He retired from the Navy and practiced private medicine here until moving to Hawaii in 1959.

In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. McCarthy had been the Hawaii division director of the trauma committee of the American College of Surgeons and was active in medical associations.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth D., of the home; six sons, Mor James Jr., of Albuquerque, N.M., John C., Paul T., Thomas G., Timothy A., and Joseph D., all of Hawaii; four daughters, Sheila E., of California, Sharon C., of Washington state, and Ann E. and May L., both of Hawaii; three sisters, Maureen Boland of Rockville, Sheila Ledet of Sumner, and Nancy Flynn of Potomac; a brother, Sean F, of Bethesda; his mother, Mae McCarthy of Chevy Chase, and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.