James Robert Tucker, 86, a retired salesman, engineer, and draftsman and veteran of both world wars who had lived in this area since the early 1950s, died Jan. 7 at the Veterans Administration Hospital after a stroke. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Tucker was born in Petersburg, Va., and was a 1923 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He served with the Marine Corps in Europe during World War I, and with the Army in the European and Mediterranean theaters during World War II. His decorations included two Purple Heart Medals.

Between the wars, he was a draftsman and engineer with the Navy and Agriculture departments here and in California, and worked for a shipbuilding concern in New Jersey. After World War II, he worked in New York and Richmond. From 1953 to 1954, he worked in Bethesda for an aircraft company, then was a salesman with the Time Products Co. in Washington, which sold refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, until retiring in 1955.

He was a member of Post No. 482 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Forestville.

Survivors include his wife, Alice W., of Washington, and two sisters, Virginia Mende of Mechanicsville, Va., and Gladys Tucker of Richmond.