Emmett E. Sprung, 81, a retired Navy captain who specialized in ship construction and industrial relations, died of leukemia Tuesday at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

Capt. Sprung, who was born in Lincoln, Neb., enlisted in the Navy during World War I and served in the Asiatic Fleet. After the war, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating in 1923. In 1928, he earned a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

During World War II, he was at Bremerton, Wash. On one occasion, he supervised the the building of a new bow for a vessel that had been badly damaged in the South Pacific. The wreck was towed to Bremerton, where the new bow was fitted to it.

Capt. Sprung later commanded the Long Beach (Calif.) Naval Shipyard. He was stationed in Washington at the time of his retirement in 1953.

From 1957 until about 1974, he was the Washington representative of George Nickum, naval architects of Seattle.

Capt. Sprung, who lived in Bethesda, held the Legion of Merit.

He was a member of the Columbia Country Club and an honorary member of the Propeller Club.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, of Bethesda; a daughter, Irene Galbraith of Takoma Park, and two granddaughters.