Retired Army Lt. Col. Wilson P. Andrews, 52, a decorated Army Corps of Engineers officer and a former director of the Army Coastal Engineering Research Center at Fort Belvoir, died Wednesday at the Quantico Naval Hospital in Virginia after a heart attack. He lived in Stafford, Va.

At his retirement last year, Col. Andrews was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work in directing improvements in inland waterway navigation, shore and beach control, and the design, construction, operation and maintenance of harbors.

He served in a number of command and staff positions in this country, in Europe and in Asia during his 28-year military career, which included command of an engineer battalion in Vietnam, during the conflict there, and an engineer company in Korea. He also had served as an Army inspector general, as a military assistance adviser in Greece and as a NATO adviser in Turkey.

A graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, he served on the college's staff and faculty.

His last assignment was as deputy commander and director of the Army Coastal Engineering Research Center, a position he held for four years before retiring.

Col. Andrews was born in Memphis and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army in 1952.

Besides the Legion of Merit, his military decorations included the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service, Joint Service Commendation and Army Commendation Medals.

He had recently begun a career as a real estate salesman with the Mount Vernon Realty Co.

Col. Andrews was a Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth, two sons, John and Patrick, and a daughter, Debora, all of Stafford.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund of the American Heart Association.