Retired Navy Vice Adm. Charles L. Melson, 77, a decorated combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War who was superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis from 1958 to 160, died Monday in For Lauderdale, Fla. the cause of death was not reporter.

Adm. Melson commanded destroyers and destroyer divisions in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during World War II and participated in the invasion of Sicily and southern France. He commanded the battleship New Jersey in Korean waters during the war there.

After his tour as Navy Academy superintendent, he commanded the U.S. First Fleet for two years. He was head of the United States Taiwan Defense Command from 1962 to 1964. He then was named president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., a post he held until retiring in 1966.

Adm. Melson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for a year and then retired a second time.

His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, Three Legions of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Adm. Melson was a native of Richmond and a 1927 graduate of the Naval Academy. He also was a graduate of the naval engineering course at the Naval Postgraduate School in Annapolis and was a 1948 graduate of the senior course at the Naval War College

He served aboard cruisers and battleships and was an instructor and staff officer before World War II. He was assistant operations officer on the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, before taking command of a destroyer in September 1942.

Adm. Melson's wife, the former Valdah Lee Jenkins, died in December 1980. Survivors include a daughter, Nancy Lee McHugh of Philadelphia, and two stepsons, Arthur R. Cummings of Washington and John A. Cummings of Naples, Fla.