Gerald R. Tyler, 87, a retired architectural engineer and Army colonel who was a veteran of both world wars, died of congestive heart failure March 26 in a nursing home in Springfield, Pa., where he had been staying since October 1982. He lived in Arlington.

Col. Tyler, who had been an area resident for the past 25 years, was a native of South Carolina. He was a 1917 gradute of Clemson University, and earned a master's degree in architecture from Columbia University.

He was wounded while serving in France in the 1st Infantry (Big Red One) Division during World War I. After the war, he left the Army and was an architect in New York City, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, Del. He was recalled to active duty in the late 1930s.

During World War II, he served in the Corps of Engineers on the atomic bomb project. He was still with the Corps when he retired from active duty in 1955. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, and the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

After moving here, he worked for several architectural engineering concerns, including Nottingham Engineering in Washington, before retiring a second time about 1970. He was a 32nd degree Mason and member of the Army Navy Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth B., whom he married in 1925, of Arlington and Springfield, Pa.