Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. August Larson, 77, a heavily decorated veteran of World War II who was director of Marine Corps personnel for four years before retiring in 1963, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Annandale.

Gen. Larson was stationed in the Pacific during World War II, and was assistant chief of staff of a Marine brigade during the landings at Guam. In 1945 he participated in the landings at Okinawa, first as a staff officer with the 6th Marine Division and later as commander of the 22nd Marine Regiment.

His decorations for the Pacific campaign included the Silver Star and Bronze Star medals and the Legion of Merit.

After the war, he commanded the 5th Marines in Peking for a year. During the 1950s, he served in the offices of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and spent two years as deputy base commander of Camp Pendleton in California.

Gen. Larson enlisted in the Marines in 1928. He received his officer's commission three years later. During the 1930s, he was stationed in China and this country. He commanded the Marine detachment aboard the carrier Wasp from 1940 to 1941.

He was a native of Sherburn, Minn. He was a graduate of George Washington University and earned a master's degree in international relations there in 1963.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Kennedy Larson of Annandale; three daughters, Joanna Lehmann of Vancouver, B.C., Karen Riedl of Adelphi, and Elin Larson of Annandale; a brother, Oscar, of Yakima, Wash.; a sister, Clara Breneman of Sherburn, and 11 grandchildren.