Carleton V. (Bill) Kent, 75, former Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Sun-Times, died Jan. 24 in County Cork, Ireland, where he had lived since retiring in 1971. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Kent came to Washington shortly after World War II, and he covered Capitol Hill and the White House for the old Chicago Daily Times and the Sun-Times for 25 years. He was a former president of the White House Press Correspondents Association and he was first vice president of the Gridiron Club when he retired.

He was a war correspondent in the European and Pacific theaters during World War II. He was among the first American correspondents to arrive in the Pacific after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He reported the war from Guadalcanal, New Guinea and Australia and later from Europe and Turkey.

As a White House reporter, he covered the activities of Presidents Truman through Nixon, and he accompanied them on election campaigns and on presidential trips around the nation and overseas.

A native of Minnesota, Mr. Kent attended the University of Kansas and wrote for newspapers in Oklahoma City and Kansas City, then worked for the Chicago City News Bureau before joining the Chicago Daily Times.

In retirement he had lived in a cottage at Glandore overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Mr. Kent's wife, the former Janet Hurd, died in 1982. He is survived by a son, Carleton H. (Cotton) Kent of Los Angeles.