Thomas Henry King, 79, a Washington attorney and retired brigadier general in the Air Force Reserves who had been the national president of the Reserve Officers Association, died of cancer Aug. 23 at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base.

Gen. King, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Washington. He graduated from the old Business High School and earned a law degree from American University.

He served in the Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II. He later transferred to the Air Force Reserves and retired as a brigadier general in 1964.

Gen. King established his law practice here after the war. He specialized in military personnel laws affecting the rights of veterans and reservists. In 1950, he helped draft the bill that gave the Reserve Officers Association its congressional charter. He retired from his practice in 1982.

His military decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Gen. King was a past national president of the Judge Advocates Association. He also was a member of the American Legion, the Military Order of the World Wars, the American Bar Association and the Masons.

Survivors include his wife, the former Jessie Fedner of Chevy Chase; a son, Thomas H. Jr. of Charlotte, N.C., and two grandchildren.