Retired Navy Cmdr. E. J. M. Delaney, 71, a World War II veteran who later worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, died June 19 at Fairfax Hospital. He had cancer.

After earning a law degree from Georgetown University in 1938, Cmdr. Delaney was an investigator for the House Naval Affairs Committee and a lawyer with the Washington firm of John G. Gall.

During World War II, he served as a Navy lieutenant j.g. in the North Atlantic. He also was assigned to the Navy Department's bureau of personnel and to the Judge Advocate General's Office from 1944 to 1946.

He then served as director of the liaison division of the old War Assets Administration here.

In 1952, Cmdr. Delaney was recalled to active duty and assigned to the London headquarters of the commander-in-chief of naval forces for the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. He also served as counsel of the General Courts-Martial of the Armed Forces before retiring from active duty in 1954.

From 1954 until his retirement in 1968, he worked for the CIA.

Cmdr. Delaney was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and attended Syracuse University.

A resident of Falls Church, he was a member and a former usher of St. James Catholic Church there.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mildred Lee Brown of Falls Church; a daughter, Sheila K., of Arlington; two sons, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael L., of Mililani, Hawaii, and Kevin, of Goldsboro, N.C., and a brother, Paul V., of Syracuse.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.