Emil G. Bittner, 72, a retired Prince George's County zoning inspector who saw combat in the Army in World War II and served in Air Force intelligence during the Korean war, died Tuesday at Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base. He had cancer.

Mr. Bittner, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was graduated from New York University with a business degree and was an accountant in New York City before entering the Army during World War II. He served as a sergeant in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division during the war. His decorations include a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

After the war, he re-enlisted in the Army and later transferred to the Air Force. He was assigned to the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations during the Korean war. He was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., when he retired from active duty as a master sergeant in 1964, after 23 years of military service.

Mr. Bittner moved to the Washington area in 1966 and joined the Prince George's County Department of Licenses and Permits the following year. He retired in 1976.

He was a member of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, the Association of Federal Investigators, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans.

Survivors include his wife, Ursula M., of Alexandria, and a brother, Arthur, of Long Beach, Calif.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in his name to the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, P.O. Box 352, Ayer, Mass., 01432.