Clyde E. Buckingham, 73, a retired research director for the American Red Cross who wrote several publications on that organization, including a biography of its founder, Clara Barton, died of a heart attack March 28 at his home in Falls Church.

Mr. Buckingham joined the Red Cross in 1942 as a field representative in Kansas and subsequently served as a field representative at military air installations in Texas. He also did personnel and statistical work at Red Cross Southeastern Area headquarters in Atlanta before being appointed a research analyst at Red Cross headquarters in Washington in 1951. He served as director of research information from 1962 until his retirement in 1971.

He was the author of "Clara Barton, a Board Humanity," "Red Cross Disaster Relief its Origin and Development," and an account of the founding of the League of Red Cross Societies and its founder, the American banker, Henry P. Davison.

A native of Huntington, Ind., Mr. Buckingham graduated from DePauw University in Indiana and did graduate work in public welfare administration at the University of Chicago. From 1936 to 1942, he worked for the Illinois Emergency Relief Administration.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia Mae of Falls Church; a daughter, Mary Lipsey of Burke; a son, James, of Iver, Va., and a brother, Lawrence, of Huntington.