Retired Navy Rear Adm. John F. Greenslade, 76, a naval aviator who held staff and command positions in the Pacific during World War II and who later taught engineering at George Washington University, died Tuesday at Georgetown University Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

In 1942 and 1943, as operations officer on the staff of the commander for aircraft for the South Pacific, Adm. Greenslade coordinated allied offensive actions and conducted raids upon enemy ships and shore installations, for which he was rewarded the Legion of Merit with combat V. He later commanded an escort carrier and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.

Earlier in the war, he was a pilot aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, which was sunk in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal in 1942.

Born and reared in Annapolis, Adm. Greenslade graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1926. His assignments before World War II included command of a seaplane tender and duty as executive officer of the ground school at the Pensacola (Fla.) Naval Air Station.

After the war, he received a second Legion of Merit for commanding an air task force of the 7th Fleet in the Formosa Strait in 1950 and 1951.

Adm. Greenslade served as commanding officer of the Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi, Tex., before retiriing in 1956.

After earning a degree in engineering administration at George Washington University in 1959, he taught engineering at the university for several years. uHe also was vice president of the Naval Historical Foundation and head of its museum committee.

He and his wife, the former Rosemary Grifin, maintained a home in Washington for more than 50 years. He was a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and the Army-Navy, University, Metropolitan and the Chevy Chase clubs.

In addition to two legions of Merit, Adm. Greenslade's decorations included the Air Medal and the Order of the British Empire from the government of New Zealand.

Besides his wife, survivors include a daughter, Rosemary G. Belson, also of Washington; a son, John W. II, of Bronxville, N.Y., and eight grandchildren.