Dr. William C. Wineland, 68, who retired from the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in 1976 as associate director in charge of research, died at Holy Cross Hospital Sunday of an aortic aneurysm.

Dr. Wineland joined the NOL in 1946. Over the years, he was chief of the physics department and chief of the weapons analysis division. During the Vietnam war, he helped organize Naval laboratories along the East Coast to support the war effort and received a commendation for this.

From 1964 to 1966, he was on leave as director of the NATO Research Center at LaSpezia, Italy. He later was named associate director of the laboratory in charge of research.

His government honors included the Meritorious, Superior and Distinquished civilian service awards from the Navy Department.

Following his retirement from the government, he was a volunteer teacher at the University of Maryland, where he conducted tutorial sessions in physics.

Dr. Wineland was born in Monroe, La., and grew up in Oklahoma and Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky, where he earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in physics. He taught at the university and also at Morehead State College in Kentucky.

He was a member of the American Physical Society and the Accoustical Society of America. He also was a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Pi Sigma fraternities.

A resident of Silver Spring, he was a member of Christ Congregational Church there and serve on a number of boards and committees.

Survivors include his wife, the former Frances Spiva, of Silver Spring, and two children, Ann Lorraine, of Silver Spring, and William Robert, of Kensington.