Manley Hale Simons Jr., 73, a retired Navy rear admiral who was a decorated veteran of World War II and a commanding officer of the of Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, died of Alzheimer's disease May 11 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Perry Point, Md. He had lived in Bethesda since 1959.

Adm. Simons served aboard cruisers during World War II, participating in convoys to Murmansk, Russia, the American landings at Casablanca, Morocco, and the naval battles near Guadalcanal in the Pacific. Toward the end of the war, he became chief of staff of cruiser division 13 and saw action in Okinawa and the East China Sea. He earned the Legion of Merit with combat "V" during the war.

In addition to commanding the Naval Weapons Laboratory, Adm. Simons' postwar assignments included participation in the Bikini atom bomb tests in the Pacific in 1946, command of the heavy cruiser Albany and service as chief of staff of the Atlantic Fleet's battleship and cruiser force. He retired from active duty in 1959.

He worked for the John I. Thompson Co., a Washington research and management organization, and was executive secretary of the Marine Technology Society before retiring a second time in 1974.

Adm. Simons was a member of St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Sumner, Md., where he had been Sunday School superintendent and a member of the vestry.

He had served on the board of directors of the Army & Navy Club and the board of governors of the Arts Club of Washington.

Adm. Simons was born in Philadelphia. He was a 1930 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Naval War College.

His first wife, Louise Bedell Simons, died in 1977.

Survivors include his wife, Kathryne Cooksey Simons, and a daughter by his first marriage, Gale Burwell, both of Bethesda, and two grandchildren.