Leo Francis Welsh, 71, a retired manager of the National Press Club and a decorated veteran of World War II, died Tuesday at a hospital in Ormond Beach, Fla., after a heart attack.

Mr. Welsh began his 45-year career as a hotel and club manager in the late 1920s at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore. He moved to Washington in 1929 to work for the then-new Ambassador Hotel, which is now closed.

He subsequently worked for 12 years at the Officer's Club at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda before joining the National Press Club in about 1959. He served as acting manager of the club and then became its manager in 1970. He retired in 1974.

During World War II, Mr. Welsh served with the Army Air Corps in Europe, North Africa and in the Pacific theater. He was awarded five Bronze Star Medals.

He was a native of Cumberland, Md., was educated in Baltimore, and attended the National University school of Law here, which is now part of George Washington University.

He and his wife, Gertrude, lived in Camp Springs before moving to Ormond Beach four years ago.

Besides his wife, survivors include a brother, Paul, of Baltimore.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Beacon Rescue Squad in Ormond Beach, Fla.