John Kyger Meskimen, 72, a retired labor relations specialist for the Department of Labor who served for nearly six years in the U.S. postwar manpower and labor-relations program in Germany, died of leukemia Monday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital. He was a longtime resident of Lake Barcroft.

Mr. Meskimen, a former railroad clerk, was born in Lawrenceville, Ill. He worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad before entering military service in 1943.

At the end of World War II, he was a railroad labor relations specialist assigned to the manpower division of the U.S. Group Control Council in Berlin. In 1946, he became chief of the council's labor disputes section and represented this country on the Quadripartite Committee on Labor Law, Trade Unions and Labor Relations before the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948 caused the council's collapse.

Mr. Meskimen subsequently served as chief of the industrial relations branch in the manpower division of the Office of Military Government for Germany and as deputy director of labor affairs in the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany.

In 1951, he became a labor adviser for the old Office of Price Stablization. Later, he joined the Labor Department, served briefly in the Agency for International Development in 1961 and 1962, and then returned to Labor. He was a special assistant to the assistant secretary of Labor for manpower when he retired in 1975.

Mr. Meskimen earned a certificate in business and commerce from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree in social studies from George Washington University.

He served twice as president of the Lake Barcroft Community Association.

Surveyors include his wife, the former Margaret Van Oosterhout, of Lake Barcroft.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Leukemia Society of America in Washington.