Retired Army Col. Noel Maurice Cox, 71, a decorated combat veteran or World War II and the Korean conflict, died of cancer Wednesday at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Albuquerque, N.M.

He had lived in Albuquerque since retiring for disability in 1957 while a patient at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, Colo.

Col. Cox had served for three years as congressional liaison officer in the office of the Army chief of information at the Pentagon before he was ordered to Korea in January 1952.

Less than a year later, he was severely wounded by shrapnel while serving as United Nations commander of a battalion on Heartbreak Ridge in Korea. He was returned here to recuperate at Walter Reed Hospital.

After going back to active duty, Col. Cox was with plans and operations at the Pentagon. Later, he saw duty in Panama.

He was born in Camden, Miss. and grew up in Leland, Miss. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1935.

During World War II, he was with the Third Armored Division in France.

His decorations included the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the French Croix de Guerre.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, of Albuquerque; two sons, James, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., and Ralph, of Oakland, Calif.; two brothers, C.A., of Carthage, Miss., and Brewer Q., of Redding, Calif., and six grandchildren.