Retired Army Col. Charles A. Mateer, 49, a retired medical administrator in the Medical Service Corps who had flown helicopter evacuation missions in Vietnam, died of cancer Aug. 16 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was a resident of Vienna.

Col. Mateer served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967, where he flew air rescue missions as a helicopter pilot and commanded an air ambulance detachment. His decorations included Distinguished Flying Cross with Palm, the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal for Valor and 18 service awards of the Air Medal.

From Vietnam he came to Washington and worked in medical planning and administration in the office of the Army surgeon general. Between 1971 and 1974, he served with the Seventh Army in Germany. In 1976, he was named deputy director for health care operations in the surgeon general's office. When he retired from active duty in 1979, he was executive officer to the surgeon general.

Col. Mateer was a native of South Dakota and a 1953 graduate of South Dakota State University. He received his Army commission later that year. Before going to Vietnam, he served in Germany and Korea. He was a graduate of the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Ala., the Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

In addition to medals he received for duty in Vietnam, his decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife, Lynda L. of Vienna; three sons, Charles A. Jr., David and Michael, all of Vienna; two daughters, Lori Mateer Kidwell of Manassas and Deborah Mateer of Vienna; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Mateer of Hurley, S.D.; a sister, Donna Lehman also of Hurley, and one grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Vienna Rescue Squad or the Charles A. Mateer ROTC Memorial Scholarship Fund at South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.