Retired Navy Capt. Reed T. Roberts, 78, a supply officer for most of his career and a combat veteran of World War II, died Monday at his home in Washington. He had a kidney ailment.

Capt. Roberts transferred to the supply corps several years after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1923. He had several tours of duty in Washington, including the Anacostia Naval Station in 1939-41, the Navy Department, 1943-44 and 1947-48 and the Munitions Board at the Pentagon, 1948-50.

In World War II, he was serving aboard the aircraft carrier Hornet when Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle made his bomber raid over Tokyo from the Hornet.

Capt. Roberts also was on the Hornet during the battle of Midway. He was supply officer to the 3rd, 5th and 7th Pacific fleets through Supply Squadron 10. He received the Legion of Merit.

His last assignment before his retirement in 1953 was that of commanding officer of the Naval Supply Depot in Spokane, Wash.

Capt. Roberts then returned to Washington where he was business manager of Landon School in Bethesda for several years. He was affiliated with several firms here, including Woodward & Lothrop Inc., of which he was a director.

For the past 10 years he had divided his time between homes in Washington and Wolfboro, N.H.

Capt. Roberts was born in Fort Sheridan, Ill., the son of the Army officer. He grew up in Fort Riley, Kan., and the Phillippines and graduated from Western High School in Washington.

He was a member of the Chevy Chase and Army & Navy clubs.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Washington and Wolfboro; two children by his marriage to Virginia Roberts, which ended in divorce, Barbara Hampton of El Paso, Tex., and John, of Chevy Chase, and eight grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Naval Relief Society.