Harry A. Rochester, 86, a retired Navy captain who served in the Southwest Pacific during World War II, died Feb. 8 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

Capt. Rochester, who had lived in Washington since 1940, was born in New York City. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1918. He also graduated from the Naval War College and attended the Naval Postgraudate School at Annapolis.

During World War I, he served on a destroyed based at Brest, France. His assignments between the wars included the Yangtze River Patrol in China. In World War II, he was a base commander on Guadalcanal. He took part in a landing in the Bismarck Archipelago and then served as assistant chief of staff for plans and operations for the commander of the service force of the Seventh Fleet in the Southwest Pacific. He retired from the Navy in 1947.

Capt. Rochester's military decorations included the Legion of Merit.

During his retirement, Capt. Rochester wrote a number of articles on professional naval subjects and a book on federal purchasing.

He was a Knight of the Golden Circle of the Army & Navy Club in Washington and a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth H. Rochester of Washington.