Retired Army Maj. Gen. Frank A. Allen Jr., 83, a heavily decorated officer of three wars, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at Walter Reed Hospital.

Gen. Allen was an artillery officer in France during World War I, commander of Combat Command B of the 1st Armored Division in the Mediterranean in World War II, and assistant commander in the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea for a year during the conflict there.

His decorations included three Silver Star Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star Medals, four Air Medals, and two Purple Hearts.

Gen. Allen was chief of the public relations division of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expenditionary Forces in Europe (SHAEF) from September 1944 to July 1945. In effect, he was Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's press officer and helped supervise press coverage of the war in Europe by nearly 1,200 accredited correspondents.

He was chief of information of the Far East Command in Tokyo from July 1951 to February 1952. In 1954, he became chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Italy. He retired from active duty two years later.

He was vice president of a public relations firm in Washington for four years before retiring a second time in 1960.

Gen. Allen was a native of Cleveland, and attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He entered the Army in 1917 and was a 1924 graduate of the cavalry school at Fort Riley, Kan., a 1936 graduate of the Command and General Staff School, and a 1940 graduate of the Army War College.

His wife, Ellen Gordon Allen, died in 1972.

Gen. Allen is survived by two sons, Frank A. III, of New York City, and Gordon, of Arlington; two daughters, Laura A. Weir of Washington, and Mary Poage of El Paso, Tex.; 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Kenyon College Alumni Fund in Gambier.