William J. Marshall, 80, a retired Navy vice admiral who was decorated in World War II and who later became the first president of the Bourbon Institute, died of respiratory arrest April 27 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He lived in Vienna.
In World War II, Adm. Marshall took part in both the European and Pacific campaigns. He received the Silver Star while commanding a destroyer division in the Normandy invasion in June 1944. Two months later, he was in the Pacific commanding a destroyer squadron. He participated in the battles for Leyte and Okinawa and earned the Bronze Star.
After the war, he was a Naval attache in Rome, commander of a destroyer flotilla and a staff officer. He retired in 1959 as director of the materiel division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Adm. Marshall then became the first president of the newly formed Bourbon Institute, with a brief to promote the export of this country's whiskey and serve as the industry's "good-will ambassador."
He also was an adviser on the liquor industry to presidential trade negotiations committees. In 1973, the Bourbon Institute became part of what is now the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Adm. Marshall retired in 1977 as director of the council's international trade division.
During his years with the bourbon industry, Adm. Marshall promoted the product with imagination. A gourmet cook of note, he produced recipes for such dishes as carrots bourbonade and beef bourbannaise. Nor did he slight the elixir's value as a libation.
"I was born in Kentucky and, until I left the state to go to the Naval Academy, I didn't even know there was anything else to drink but bourbon," Adm. Marshall told a Washington Post reporter in 1972.
At the Naval Academy, he ranked 14th among the 500 midshipmen who graduated in 1925. He later earned a master's degree in electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Adm. Marshall was a Kentucky colonel and a member of the Army & Navy Club, the Fairfax Hunt Club and the New York Yacht Club.
His marriage to the former Nancy Adams ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, the former Catherine Grayson Oliver, of Vienna, and a stepson, John S. Wynne of Rochester, N.Y.