Herman M. East, 60, a retired Army captain who later was a personnel specialist for the D.C. Department of Human Resources, died of cancer Monday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Mr. East saw combat with the 92nd Infantry Division in Italy in World War II and later was a transportation officer at Allied headquarters in Rome. After a brief period in civilian life, he returned to the Army. In addition to various assignments in the United States, he served in Korea during the war there and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, when he retired in 1962.

His military service included a costarring role in a World War II documentary film, "The Negro Soldier," directed by Hollywood producer Walter Wanger, to encourage recruitment of black servicemen.

A native Washingtonian, Mr. East graduated from Armstrong High School. He was a student at the old Miner Teachers College when he was called to active duty as an Army Reserve officer in December 1941.

After leaving the Army, Mr. East lived in New York City and attended New York and Rutgers universities. He returned to Washington in 1966 and joined the D.C. Human Resources Department, now the Department of Human Services, as an employment and employee management specialist. He was a staffing specialist with the Office of Personnel when he retired in 1976.

Mr. East, who lived in Washington, was a member of Nativity Catholic Church here, the Knights of Columbus, the NAACP and the Pigskinners.

Survivors include his wife, Jean, and a stepson, Lincoln Pitts; a sister, Virginia Venable, and two brothers, Philip and Charles East, all of Washington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.