Retired Navy Capt. Louise K. Wilde, 69, a former director of the WAVES, died at her home in Arlington Thursday of arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Capt. Wilde served in the Navy from 1942 until her retirement in 1965. She was assistant chief of Naval personnell for women in charge of the WAVES from 1953 to 1957. She was the fourth person to hold that post.
After leaving the service, she did legislative work for the National Council of Catholic Women in Washington.
Capt. Wilde began her Navy career in World War I shortly after Congress authorized the formation of the Women's Reserve. For part of the war, she was coordinator of public relations in the office of Capt. Mildred McAfee, the first director of the WAVES.
From 1945 to 1946, she was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and rose to the rank of commander. She then returned to Washington as assistant to Capt. Jean T. Palmer, the second WAVES director. She later was assistant to Capt. Joy Bright Hancock, the third director of the WAVES. In 1952, she was transferred to the staff of the commander, Western Sea Frontier, in San Francisco, where she was assistant director of the shipping control division.
In 1953, she returned to Washington to begin her four-year tour as director of the Waves. Subsequent assignments took her to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where she was special assistant to the superintendent, and to the headquarters staff of the 12th Naval District in San Francisco.
In the latter post, she was public information director for the 12th District and public information officer for Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. d
Her final assignment, from 1962 until her retirement, was in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington.
Capt. Wilde was born in Concord, N.H. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1931 and was the college's director of publicity at the time of its centennial in 1937. She was assistant to the president and freshman dean at Rockford College in Rockford, Ill., before entering the Navy. In 1941, she earned a master's degree at Columbia Universtiy.
Capt. Wilde's military decorations included the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.She received honorary degrees from Rockford College and from St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg, Md. She was member of the board of trustees of Mount Holyok from 1954 to 1959.
She was member of the Army and Navy Club and of the Mount Holyoke Club of Washington.
She left no immediate survivors.