Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claire Elwood Hutchin Jr., 64, who commanded the 1st Army at Fort Meade, Md., from March 1971 until his retirement in July 1973, died Sunday at his home in Severna Park, Md., after a heart attack.

After his retirement, he became executive director of Maryland's Bicentennial Commission.

Gen. Hutchin was born in Decatur, Ill. He graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1938.

In 1943, he served as joint staff planner in the new Southeast Asia Command with Maj. Gen. A. C. Wedemeyer in India.A year later, he began a three-year tour with the War Department's general staff here. During that period, he went to China, first with Gen. George C. Marshall's mission in 1946 and then with Gen. Wedemeyer's mission in 1947, which also took him to Korea.

After serving as secretary to the joint staff of the Pacific Command in Hawaii, Gen. Hutchin was sent to Korea during the early months of the conflict there, where he commanded an infantry battalion.

He graduated from the Army War College in 1953 and then served as assistant to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff here for four years.

Gen. Hutchin was sent to Germany in 1957, where he eventually became deputy chief of staff for the 7th Army and then VII Corps chief of staff.

He was back in Washington as director of strategic plans and policy with the Department of the Army from 1960 to 1963, when he took command of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash. Two years later, he went back to the Pacific command in Hawaii. From 1969 to 1971, he commanded the V Corps in Germany.

Gen. Hutchin's decorations included two Distinguished Service Crosses, two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, six Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

He had been active in the American Cancer Society and the Boy Scouts.

He is survived by his wife, the former Katherine Porter Steel, of Severna Park; three children, Katherine Menhennet of Fremont, Calif., William, of Hawaii, and Marion, of Severna Park; his mother, Helen F. Hutchin of Washington; a brother, retired Army Col. Walter J., of Falls Church; a sister, Dorothy Wheller of Alexandria, and six grandchildren.

A son Claire E. III, died about five years ago.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society, the Boy Scouts of America, or to the American Diabetes Association.