Retired Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Fred D. Beans, 73, a highly decorated combat veteran of World War II, died Saturday at Anne Arundel General Hospital in Annapolis after a heart attack.

Gen. Beans served in the South Pacific during the war and earned the Navy Cross in November 1943 while commanding the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion in Bougainville. He later served as commanding officer of the 4th Marines and led that regiment during the battle for Okinawa. In addition to the Navy Cross, his decorations included the Silver Star and Bronze Star medals.

After retiring from active duty in July 1948, he settled in Annapolis, where he owned and operated his own construction business until retiring a second time more than 10 years ago. He was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Gen. Beans was born in Kansas and reared in Texas. He entered the Navy as an apprentice seaman in 1924 and then the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis two years later. He graduated with the class of 1930.

He served in Central America in the 1920s and was with the 6th Marines in China from 1937 to 1940.

His first wife, Elizabeth S. Beans, died in the late 1960s. Survivors include his second wife, Martha W., of Annapolis; a daughter, Arden Parsons of Burke, Va., and a son, Marine Corps Col. James D. Beans of Alexandria, both by his first marriage; three brothers Frank, of Florida, James, of California, and Alva, of Texas, and six grandchildren.