Harry David Wohl, 78, a retired writer and editor of "Transport Topics," a trade publication, who was an assistant night city editor of The Washington Post in the mid-1950s, died Sunday at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Wohl began his career in journalism in Chicago in the late 1920s, where he was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the old Chicago American. In the late 1930s, he was president of The Newspaper Guild's Chicago local and led a strike against the Chicago American.

He joined the old St. Louis Star-Times in the 1940s and moved to Washington in 1946 as a member of the Star-Times bureau here. The Star-Times ceased publication in the early 1950s. Mr. Wohl then worked as a writer with Pathfinder Magazine before joining The Post.

He was a reporter and editor for "Transport Topics," a publication of the American Trucking Association, for a dozen years before retiring about 1970. He continued to contribute articles to trade publications in the trucking industry for the next several years.

In 1969, Mr. Wohl drove a camper to Alaska. He then headed south, went through Mexico, Central and South America and finally reached the southern tip of the Western Hemisphere of Tierra del Fuego.

Mr. Wohl, who was a native of St. Louis, had lived in McLean for more than 30 years.

Survivors include his wife, Esther, of McLean; a son, Dr. Charles Wohl of Berkeley, Calif.; a daughter, Barbara Wohl of San Francisco; a brother, John, of Chicago, and three sisters, Elizabeth Bonanno of Burlington, Vt., Marguerite Wohl of New York City, and Clara Wohl of Palto Alto, Calif.