Creed C. Burlingame, 80, a retired Navy rear admiral who was a heavily decorated submarine skipper in the Pacific Ocean in World War II, died Oct. 21 at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Perry Point, Md. He had Alzheimer's disease.

On Dec. 15, 1941, eight days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war, Adm. Burlingame, then a lieutenant commander, took command of the Silversides, a submarine that was commissioned on that day. He commanded it until July 1943.

In that period, the Silversides made five war patrols and was credited with destroying almost 90,000 tons of Japanese shipping and damaging thousands of tons more. The vessel was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. As its captain, Cmdr. Burlingame won three Navy Crosses -- the highest decoration for heroism in the service after the Medal of Honor -- and two Silver Star Medals.

Later in the war, the future aion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious conduct" in supervising the subs under his command. They were credited with sinking 50 enemy ships.

The citation for Adm. Burlingame's first Navy Cross conveys the nature of his service: "During an aggressive and successful submarine war patrol in the immediate vicinity of the Japanese homeland from April 30 to June 21, 1942 . . . Lieutenant Commander Burlingame, availing himself of every attack opportunity with courageous skill and efficiency, succeeded in sinking a total of 24,227 tons of enemy merchant shipping. After two offensives, the Silversides became a constant target for aggressive and prolonged counterattacks by the Japanese, but, under capable leadership and resourceful command, she came through without serious material damage . . . . "

Adm. Burlingame was born in Louisville. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1927 and from the submarine school at New London, Conn., in 1930. Almost his entire career before and during the war was in submarines.

After the war, he served at a number of shore stations in this country. He also served on the staff of the commander of the Pacific Fleet. tion of his war record.

Adm. Burlingame taught at a secondary school in Charleston for about 10 years after leaving the Navy. He moved to the Washington area about 1978 and since then had resided at Carl Vinson Hall in McLean.

His marriage to Frances Burlingame ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Doreen, of McLean; a daughter by his first marriage, Frances (June) Nelson of Belvedere, Calif., and two grandchildren.