Retired Navy Capt. George S. (Buck) James Jr., 69, an aviator, ship commander and staff officer for 30 years before retiring from active duty in 1962, died of cancer Sunday in Arlington Hospital.

Capt. James was a native of Hyattsville and a 1928 graduate of Central High School in Washington.He was a 1932 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he played football and lacrosse. He earned his pilot's wings at Pensacola, Fla., in 1934.

Before World war II, he served aboard aircraft carriers and battleships as a flyer in scouting squadrons. During the war he commanded the seaplane tender Castle Rock in the South Pacific.

His later career included command of the carrier Phillippine Sea. In 1950 he was named operations officer of Atlantic Fleet Air Wing, and two years later was named chief of staff of the Naval Air Basic Training Command at Pensacola.

He was a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and also had served at the naval air station at Anacostia.

His decorations included the Legion of Merit.

After retiring from the Navy, he worked as an agent for United Services Life Insurance in Norfolk. He had lived in Alexandria since 1973.

Capt. James was a member of the Naval Academy's alumni association and its athletic association, as well asthe Army Navy Country Club.

His first wife, the former Elizabeth (Boots) Brainard, died in 1973. Survivors include his second wife, the former Dorothy Brockelman Green, of Alexandria; two children by his first marriage, George S. III, of Los Angeles, and Mary Louise Millson of Orange Park, Fla.; a brother, Clem H. of College Park; two sisters, Addie J. Howard of Washington, and Lillie J. Talbott of Bristol, Md.; two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.