William A. (Pat) Doyle, 56, executive of the Third Judicial Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals since 1972, died of cancer Tuesday in a hospital in Philadelphia.

Prior to taking the newly created post of circuit executive in 1972, Mr. Doyle had been a civilian employe of the Navy Department for 21 years. He had retired in 1972 as director of the management division of the Naval Material Command Headquarters.

Mr. Doyle was a native of Minnesota and a graduate of Georgetown University. He served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific during World War II, and had retired from the Navy reserves with the rank of commander in the mid-1960s.

He attended the Institute for Court Management in preparation for his administrative post with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. He was a member of the Federal Executive Institute and a founder of that organization's alumni organization.

He was a resident of Saint Davids, Pa.

Survivors include his wife, Ellie, of Saint Davids; four daughters, Mary Bleasdale of Fort Colllins, Colo., Jane Wills of Washington, Christine Doyle of New York City, and Anne Doyle of Saint Davids; a son, William, of Philadelphia; two brothers, Vince, of San Diego, Calif., and Raymond, of Pearblossom, Calif., and two sisters, Helen Casey of Lincoln, Neb., and Sister M. Theresa of Savannah, Mo.