Helen Hamilton Burgess, 88, who had held a variety of government posts including that of deputy director of the old Women's Army Corps and who also had been active in volunteer and civic organizations, died of cardiac arrest Jan. 25 at a nursing home in Mystic, Conn. She lived in Washington.

Mrs. Burgess moved here in the early 1940s. She was assistant to the information director of the Treasury Department's war bonds program before joining the WAC in 1942. She left active duty four years later as the WAC's deputy director with the Legion of Merit and the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After that, she spent a short time as a consultant to the secretary of war on problems dealing with parents' interests in the draft. She then became a special information consultant to the old Economic Cooperation Administration, the operating agency for the Marshall Plan. In 1959, she served on the United States Committee for the Atlantic Congress.

Mrs. Burgess was a founder and trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a past president of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown. She also had served on the Harvard University visiting committee for Dumbarton Oaks and had been a director and member of the executive committee of the Girl Scouts of America. She also had served on the board of governors and visitors of St. John's College in Annapolis.

She was a native of New York state, a granddaughter of banker J.P. Morgan and a great-great-granddaughter of statesman Alexander Hamilton. Her first husband, Arthur Woods, who was a retired New York City police commissioner, died in 1942. In 1955, she married W. Randolph Burgess, who served as undersecretary of the Treasury and ambassador to NATO before his death in 1978.

Her survivors include four children by her first marriage, John P. Woods of Alajuela, Costa Rica, Leonard H. Woods of Flendruz, Switzerland, Dr. Alexander H. Woods of Tucson, and Carolie Woods Noble of Pawcatuck, Conn.; 14 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.