Retired Brig. Gen. James H. Banville, 79, a former chief of personnel in the Army adjutant general's office and the executive vice president of the Retired Officers Association from 1965 to 1971, died at his home in Chevy Chase Tuesday after a heart attack.

Gen. Banville was a native of Pickett, Wis. He was a 1923 graduate of Ripon College in Wisconsin and earned a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1934. From 1923 until 1940, he was a teacher and principal in Wisconsin schools.

Gen. Banville received his reserve officers commission in 1923. During World War II, he was called to active duty and served with Army Ground Forces Headquarters in Washington.

From 1946 until 1948, he was a personnel director for the U.S. Military Advisory Group in China. In 1954, he was assigned as adjutant general of U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. He joined the adjutant general's office at the Pentagon in 1955 and retired from the service in 1957. His decorations include the Legion of Merit.

Gen. Banville was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda and the Fossils Club.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred, of Chevy Chase, and a son, Robert R.. of New Mexico.