Retired Army Brig. Gen. Frederick W. Coleman III, 69, an infantry operations officer during World War II and a military adviser in the office of the Secretary of Defense who later became manager of program development for the Hughes Aircraft Co., died of cancer Thursday at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Washington.

Gen. Coleman was born at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., the son of the late Maj. Gen. Frederick W. Coleman Jr. (USA Ret.), a former Army chief of finance and governor of the Soldier's Home here. He attended Western High School.

After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1933, he served with the 12th Infantry's Third Battalion, known as "The President's Own," and was a White House aide.

During World War II, he served as an infantry regimental executive officer in Europe. After the war, he was assigned to the old War Department.

He then earned a law degree from George Washington University and became an assistant staff judge advocate at European Command Headquarters in Paris. Later, he was secretary to the Chief of State at Allied Forces Headquarters for Southern Europe in Naples.

Gen. Coleman, who graduated from the Army War College in 1954, subsequently served with a Joint Military Assistance Group in Korea and a commanding officer of the 30th Infantry Regiment of the Third Infantry Division. His last assignment before retiring in 1958 was as a military advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Personnel and Reserve at the Pentagon.

He then became manager of program development for the Hughes Aircraft Co., until retiring a second time in 1976. He was a consultant to the company until the time of his death.

Gen. Coleman was a past president of the City Tavern Association, a vice president of the Georgetown Citizens Association, and had been a member of the Chevy Chase Club, the Army Navy Country Club and the Army & Navy Club. He was a member of the vestry at Christ Episcopal Church in Georgetown.

Survivors include his wife, Laura Nelson Coleman of Washington; a son, Frederick W. 4th of Carmel, Calif.; a daughter, Tyler C. Janes of Reston, and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Class of 1933 Fund at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point or to a charity of one's choice.