Retired Navy Cmdr. Whitney Adolf Erickson, 64, a marine and aeronautical engineer who directed a team of submarine inspectors in World War II and later managed the Polaris submarine support system for Vitro Laboratories, died of renal failure Tuesday at Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Springfield.
A 20-year Navy veteran, Cmdr. Erickson was assigned to the Cramp Shipyards in Philadelphia during World War II as leader of a team of naval inspectors for fleet submarines. In the early 1950s, he lived in this area while working on the Navy's guided missile program. From 1955 until his military retirement in 1961, he was director of the Fleet Report Analysis section at the Navy's bureau of weapons here.
Cmdr. Erickson joined Vitro Laboratories in Silver Spring in 1961, where he organized and managed the Polaris submarine program's support system until retiring a second time last year.
He was born in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in architecture and marine engineering and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Navy Postgraduate School.
Cmdr. Erickson was a member of The Retired Officers Association (TROA) and the 15-Year Club at Vitro Laboratories.
Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Elinor P. of Springfield; two sons, Dr. Jeffrey W., of Knoxville, Tenn., and Dr. Peter A., of Elizabeth City, N.C.; a brother, John A., of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and two grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Annandale (Va.) Rescue Squad.