Howard G. Allaway, 68, an official of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for 13 years before retiring in 1976, died of cancer July 31 in a hospital in Boston.

He joined NASA as deputy director of its scientific and technical information division and later served in public information before retiring.

He was a 1973 recipient of NASA's Exceptional Service Medal for his work with the Apollo Program. He was the author of two books on space exploration.

Mr. Allaway was a native of Homer, Neb., and graduate of the University of Nebraska where he belonged to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University.

He was an editor with the Associated Press and a reporter and editor with the newspaper PM in New York before serving with the Navy in World War II.

After the war, he worked for the New York Times before joining the staff of Popular Science magazine in 1948, and was its editor from 1957 to 1962. He then spent a year as managing editor of Consumer Reports before coming to Washington in 1963. He had lived in Canton, Mass., since 1976.

Survivors include his wife, the former Jean Dix, of Canton; a daughter, Elizabeth Davis of Foxboro, Mass.; two sons, James, of Anchorage, and Thomas, of Ontario, two brothers, Robert, of Port Washington, N.Y., and Herbert, of Ithaca, N.Y.; two sisters, Eleanor Allaway of New York City, and Jean Knudsen of Lexington, Neb., and four grandchildren.