Army Col. Arthur C. Stang III, 43, an airborne officer who was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam conflict and served as a staff officer in Washington in the 1970s, died of cardio-respiratory arrest Tuesday at the Womack Army Hospital in Fort Bragg, N.C.

He had been stationed at Fort Bragg since leaving Washington in 1978. While at Fort Bragg, he had served on the staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps, and then as a brigade commander in the 82nd Airborne Division. For the last month he had been the division's chief of staff.

Col. Stang spent two tours in Vietnam, first in 1965 as a rifle company commander in the 2nd Airborne Battle Group, and then in 1968 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

His medals included the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with "v" for valor and three oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart.

He came to Washington in 1970 and was assigned to the Army Department Staff. He maintained a home in Woodbridge, coached Little League baseball in Northern Virginia, and was a member of the vestry of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Woodbridge in the 1970s.

After serving in Korea, he returned to Washington where he worked with the Joint Chiefs of Staff before being assigned to Fort Bragg.

Col. Stang was a native of Delaware County, Pa. He was a graduate of the Pennsylvania Military College and earned a master's degree in international affairs at George Washington University. He entered the Army and received his commission in 1960.

Survivors include his wife, Pat, two sons, Mark and Steven, and two daughters, Cindy and Cheri, all of Fort Bragg.